Eaten any chocolates recently? There is some evidence that perhaps a majority of people have been more self-indulgent than usual during Lockdown, particularly with more home-drinking. Now we are well into Lent, this might be a good opportunity to consider what we consume. When you say in the Lord’s Prayer ‘Give us today our daily bread’, what do you think of? Could we imagine it meaning something like: ‘Give to all people as much as they need’?
Most of us eat far more than we need, knowing very well that many people, even in this country, do not have enough to eat. The psalmist said: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits’. Do we take this to imply that we have a special place in God’s love which allows us to benefit at the expense of others? Could we read the line in the Lord’s Prayer as a call to respond rather than as a demand? Could we eat less and contribute what we save to help the hungry? It is a question of re-thinking our priorities. We know that Jesus enjoyed a good party – but what do we mean by ‘good’? Do we mean eating and drinking more than is good for us, or do we mean enjoying fellowship and, yes, fun? And do we always invite friends who will probably invite us back, or do we attempt to invite people who might not be in a position to reciprocate? Remember that when asked: ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?’ Jesus replied ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:37 & 40). He also said: ‘When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbours, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’ (Luke 14:12-14). You may like to use this prayer:
In a world where many are lonely: We thank you for our friendships.
In a world where many are hungry: We thank you for your provision.
We pray that you will: enlarge our sympathy,
Deepen our compassion, and give us grateful hearts.
In Christ’s name.