“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.” (Isaiah 55:1-2, NIV)
Food is essential to the nourishment of our bodies.
One of the things that is often overlooked is how much it costs to eat healthy. In areas known as “food deserts,” places where there are no grocery stores or farmer’s markets, there is certain to be a McDonald’s or Hardee’s. In places where food is needed, it is usually found cheap and unhealthy.
In the meantime, others run the risk of living beyond abundance. Instead of sharing resources, they take more than their share. Instead of giving, they waste. Instead of being faithful stewards, they are greedy and unjust.
When Jesus fed the crowd with the loaves and the fishes, it was unexpected.
We do not know who was in the crowd that day. But I imagine it was a mix of people, all ages, various religious thoughts, and different ethnic backgrounds. Jesus shared the abundance with all.
Isaiah 55 urges us to share food with others, especially those who are not like us. As followers of Christ, we are called to extend the table to the stranger. To the single mother of three. To the elderly man living on welfare. To the grandmother raising her grandchildren while living in a shelter. The same grace that is extended to us, we are to extend to others.
Who can come to the table? All those who are hungry and thirsty. And when we share grace with the “other,” we ourselves may experience unexpected grace.
Who in your community could you share food with this week?
Lord, may we see others as you see them. May we share from our abundance with those in need. Amen.