Your Gift of Citizenship
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practiced without neglecting the others.” MATTHEW 23: 23-24.
Photo by Eric Munoz
Recently members of the Bread for the World Institute traveled to Ethiopia and saw first hand the devastation of extreme hunger. In Sub-Sahara Africa too many of God’s cherished children suffer from too little access to the food required to survive. As recently pointed out in Institute Notes, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has released new estimates that in 2007 the number of hungry people in the world has increased by 75 million. In Sub-Saharan Africa where the average person spends upwards to 80% of their income on food, the sky rocketing prices of basic grains are leading to devastating hunger. In the U.S., increased food prices have hit hardest those with low incomes and those who are looking for work
Biblically, over and over again, God calls us through his prophets and Son to speak up for the widow and the orphan; to not “neglect the “matters of the law”. In 1 Corinthians 8 we are told, “To each is given the manifestation of the spirit for the common good.” We can easily view that our citizenship, where we have the freedom and responsibility to influence our elected officials, is just such a gift to be used for God’s good. As Christians we must use those gifts to remind our leaders through questions on policy, letters of advocacy, and our combined voices that we have a moral imperative to improve the lives of poor and hungry people.
Bread for the World has launched the Bread Election Action Team against Hunger – or “BEAT Hunger ‘08.” Over 1,000 activists have joined their voices so far to infuse the election with dialog about hunger and poverty both at home and abroad. We are using our gifts of voice and citizenship by attending candidate appearances around the nation and asking each candidate about their policies on issues that affect the poor and hungry. We must demand real solutions to injustice to see a real change.
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