And there was a famine in the land…
Genesis 12:10a (21st Century King James Version)
Imagine if you will that you are a relief worker in some famine-stricken land. You see the death and misery around you as you pray for food to come to the populace. Then you see trucks with crates coming. You get excited and hopeful since you know that the crates contain much needed food and water for those in need. The trucks pull up and the people gather around in expectation for much needed sustenance. You walk up to the trucks as other workers begin to unload the crates. When the crates are opened, you discover-to your shock-the crates are full of junk food and sugary drinks. You get hold of the lead worker and ask about the reason for such items, knowing of their non-nutritional value. The relief worker tells you-very calmly, “They’ll take anything as far as they’re concerned, what’s the big deal?”
I know if you were the relief worker, you’d want to jack up the other for such a remark. However, isn’t this the same situation we see in American Churchianity? If you were to turn on some religious/gospel channel, or see some of the offerings in “inspirational” literature or music-how much of it is substantial “meat” of the Gospel (or even “milk”-per Paul), and the rest is junk food? How often we hear and see stuff that doesn’t meet the needs of a spiritually-famished world.
Famished? Yes. Just look at how spiritually shallow we are as a species-regardless of belief. We’ve traded unconditional love for conditional preferential treatment. We’ve traded kindness and charity for meanness and “conservatism”. We’ll sit up and listen to the most salacious crap on the media, but will turn off to anything that would challenge us into growth. We’re more into entertainment than enlightenment. When it comes to the spiritual, eternal issues, we’re just as famished as the folks in the scenario above.
These are issues that the church needs to address; issues that keep us from truly engaging and knowing the Divine as Jesus did. We need to be helping people to develop that intimate bond with God; the bond Jesus had. We don’t need to help people “sow” into ministries, buy the latest book/sermon/CD/program, come to our church, believe our brand of “doctrine”, etc. We need to be the “ambassadors” that exhibit the Christ-life to others in our world; being the doorways to God that people need. We need to exhibit Christ in our words, deeds, and thoughts as Jesus did while here on Earth.
However, we give junk food to spiritually famished people. We’ve taken the Gospel message and sucked all the live-giving nutrients out of it and turned it into empty calories that can’t even nourish an ant. Then we expect these souls to be grateful and settle for this shit, preying on their desperation for inner food.
How would we feel if some spiritual/religious teacher were to one day palm off some junk on us with the above attitude? Maybe they’ve already been doing this to us and we just don’t realize it.
To paraphrase the hymn, the world is STILL hungry for the living bread.
God is looking for the church to bring the Christ to the hungry so they can be nourished in their spirits.
To be spiritually famished is a problem on itself. But when we spiritually starve to death, that’s even worse.
Something for us to think about while we enjoy our upcoming Thanksgiving feasts.