Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Reflection on Our Daily Bread (Isaiah 55:1)

Bread  is the symbol of sustenance for the poor.  

We have enough bread on the planet, but we have distribution problems relative to our bread...because some store it up in barns and charge money, and if you can't pay, you can't eat. That means that some of us end up with a whole lot of bread and some of us end up with nothing. Those of us who live in the United States with plenty of bread need to ask fundamental questions of why we have so much and others have so little. The truth is that everyone could eat were not for a distribution problem.

God takes a revolutionary position on the distribution problem, offering bread free of charge to everyone, for God says in Isaiah 55:1  You who have no money, come by and eat.  That is Grace.  It's the love of God.  Come by and Eat.  In God's Kingdom you don't have to buy.  God freely gives us. God does not have a distribution problem.  Sin entangles us, and we block up the distribution chain.

When you work on behalf of the poor, you are doing work.  Distributing bread in the spirit of Isaiah 55:1

Which brings me to your work, my work...
I say us because the flaw of capitalism is excessive individualism.  Give me, give my, give to my group, give to my constituency.  It is rarely give us

So who is the us?  I believe that we must say that "us" is the entire human family.

It is a critical concern that the people of faith speak for "give us."  Why is this important? Because capitalism will not do it. Martin Luther King, says, "No matter how the economy expands, it will never eradicate poverty... Capitalism does not have an ability to end poverty.  The faith community must humanize capitalism.

We have to change the politics of hunger, because we can't balance the budget on the backs of the poor of hungry while the rich get more and more and the corporations get millions and millions...

When Jesus ultimately says give us our daily bread. Bread is also the person of Jesus.

Dr. Rev. Frank Thomas 
Excerpts of Sermon at Bread for the World's National Gathering, June 11, 2011

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