Friday, September 6, 2013

The faith behind food work

Some of the Biblical verses that stick out the most for me, especially working with delivering food for those who need it, is from Matthew 25:35, 37, 40.
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me... Truly I will tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
These verses were hammered into my education at a catholic elementary and middle school, with annual charity events being put into context by them. And now that I'm working with an interfaith organization in regards to hunger, the past few weeks have been thought provoking.

While my personal context of faith revolves around Catholicism, not all of those who are of faith and engage in social justice work are Christian in some sense. For Lift Urban Portland, there are several Jewish synagogues and organizations that also support the work.

I'll be the first to attempt that even with several years of Catholic school and a world religion class, there isn't a whole lot that I know about Judaism. So I took to the internet to learn more about the religion and found an organization called Mazon, which is a Jewish response to hunger and provides resources as to Biblical context.

Deuteronomy 15:11 "For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, 'you shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land"

Isaiah 58:10 "If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicated, than shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday"

Psalms 146 talks about a God that "executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry"

And there are plenty of other verses and other reasons why people of faith are involved with feeding the hungry.

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