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Pastor's Notes from The Scribe (September 2013)

posted Aug 30, 2013, 1:12 PM by Punxsy Area Lutheran Parish Pastor

Then when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these do?” He replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus told him, “Feed my lambs.” Jesus said a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus told him, “Shepherd my sheep.” Jesus said a third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” and said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus replied, “Feed my sheep.” ~ John 21:15-17

A few years ago, I remember watching hunger leaders present on their fundraising efforts to support the ELCA World Hunger Appeal.  One of the leaders said, “If every baptized member of the ELCA gave $5 a month for one year to World Hunger, we could raise over $250 billion.” Two hundred and fifty billion dollars!  That would be incredible!  Think of all the food we could provide to people who were hungry or lived in food insecure households.  Think of the lives that could be changed.  Think of how that money could be used to take another step to eradicate hunger and poverty! 

Granted, since I listened to that presentation, the ELCA has seen some decline in its membership.  Also a large portion of baptized members of the ELCA are infants, toddlers, and children – they do not earn steady incomes out of which to give.  Nevertheless, there are many adult members in the ELCA – many of us – who could rise to this challenge.  Many of us have far more than the poorest people in our country and in the world (check out www.globalrichlist.com to see where you fall on the world’s income scale).  Many of us do not fear where our next meal comes from and when we will get it.  Many of us are not victims of abject poverty.  Many of us have the ability and resources to help the poor, hungry, and oppressed.  Many of us could easily give $5, $10, or $20 a month to hunger related ministries. 

We have been touched, healed, washed, clothed, and saved by the love and grace of God.  God’s love came to us in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  God would not even withhold his only begotten Son so that we might have life.  God’s love for us is that bountiful!  Yet, God does not expect or require us to repay God for this gracious gift.  We are called to receive this love and then share this love with others (kind of a “pay it forward” you could say).  Jesus tells his disciples that the way they demonstrate their love of God and him is to “feed and tend” his sheep.  We accomplish this task by feeding people with the gospel message.  We also accomplish this task by actually feeding God’s sheep – the lost and the found.     

During September, we will celebrate the third 5th Sunday designated for World Hunger.  If you participated in the Summer Feed Bag fundraiser, please bring your gifts to worship.  However, if you would like to take another “step” for World Hunger, here are two easy ways: 1) Use the resources available in the narthex (coin boxes, envelopes, etc.) to enhance your giving and “feed Jesus’ sheep”; 2) Visit www.elca.org/monthlypartners and sign up to give ongoing support to ELCA ministries like the World Hunger Appeal (it will automatically be given each month).  Thank you for your continued support and for always listening to me (or reading my words) on this subject.  It is truly a passion of mine!

In Christ,

Pastor Maureen

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