Christian Scripture teaches us the importance of food in relationships.
Matthew 7: 9 – 10 says, “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?”
Following these questions, Jesus remarks in Matthew 7: 12, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
The relationship to others is linked directly to that of a father to a child and the assumption is made that when the child is hungry, the father responds with food. I hear a certain tone of voice in the way Jesus phrases the questions, as if it is common sense to respond to a hungry child or a hungry neighbor as one would want to be responded to; parent to child, friend to friend, neighbor to neighbor.
In Manitoba, there are families who would want to respond generously to their children’s need for food, but are limited by access to resources enabling quality food purchases. There are people who are unable to eat well due to a $3.96 daily food allowance, leaving them still hungry.
Food is life. A snake can kill and a stone is useless when one is hungry. Bread and fish sustain body and soul when shared within families, within neighborhoods, within cities and a province. All of us are called to share resources so no-one goes hungry.
This month is one of celebrating harvest, the goodness of a God who feeds the earth with rain and sunshine. In what ways can each one of us advocate to ensure all of our neighbors, brothers and sisters, parents and children, young and old, can eat in sustainable ways from the good food of an abundant earth?
Joanna Hiebert Bergen
Peacebuilding and Advocacy Coordinator
Mennonite Central Committee Manitoba