IntroductionIn the United States, 13 million kids live in homes where they regularly do not have enough food to eat. Worldwide, nearly 100 millions kids are hungry. During this second week of Celebration of Hope, we set our focus on food and nutrition and seek to learn more about how we can help children and communities around the world gain access to sustainable, healthy food sources. Meanwhile, in our devotional time let’s explore a few places in which the concept of hunger appears in the Bible—whether physical or spiritual—and listen for what God has to say to us about His desire that we all be fully satisfied.
HungryRead Matthew 25:31–40
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ ”
We read this passage together last week because of Jesus’ words about giving drink to the thirsty. He also identified hunger as a need that He calls His followers to address. To love one another in actual, tangible ways, means to give food to those who are hungry. Consider that Jesus does not say to give money to the hungry (of course, He doesn’t prohibit this by any means), but in this particular passage, He focuses on the much more intimate and personal step of feeding those who don’t have enough to eat.
- Focus on the line, “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat.” Why do you think hunger was on Jesus’ list of needs He identified? What is God’s invitation to you as you reflect on this passage?
- Reflect on a time you gave food to a hungry person. How was that different than giving money? If you haven’t given food to a hungry person, might there be an opportunity for you to do that? What might hold you back?
- Each time you eat a meal or a snack today, say a prayer for those in the world who don’t have enough to eat. To make your prayer more specific, pick a country or location where people are suffering with hunger and pray specifically for the children in that place.
Father, thank You for the most basic things You have provided me—food, water, and shelter. So many people in the world—and children in particular—lack these basics. As I go through my day, make me mindful of how You have provided for me and what I can do to love and serve and provide for those who don’t have enough. Specifically, open my eyes to the hungry and grant me the grace, patience, and kindness to give food to the hungry. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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