August 18, 2014

Dear Friends and Family of the Diocese of Eau Claire,

“May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy. Those who go out weeping bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.” Psalm 126:5-6

For most Americans these words make little sense. In other parts of the world where people go to bed hungry this psalm is powerful. To take seed that can be used to feed your children and place it in the ground so it can in time sprout and reproduce is a hard decision. The risk of a poor harvest is high, but what choice is there? An important phrase of the prayer Jesus taught us is, “Give us this day our daily bread.” As humans we can talk about spiritual needs. They are important, but Jesus also recognizes the basic requirement humans have to be fed.

As we hear of warfare in northern Iraq and in South Sedan, let us remember the people impacted by the destructive, sinful actions of others. In South Sudan the land is fertile. It is capable of producing rich harvests. It is the disruptions of warfare that cause starvation in an environment capable of producing abundance, How can this be? How do human relationships deteriorate so badly as to bring such devastating results? Where does this end? God knows what is going on, and a day of reckoning will come when he does something about it. Meanwhile, we who go to bed on full stomachs can try to help.

Cain in Genesis 4 responded to God with these words, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” What is the right answer? In terms of world hunger it is, “Yes I am.” With my love and best wishes, I am,

Your brother in Christ,