Feeding the world
With reports of great shortages of food in certain areas of the world, we might wonder if there really is anything that we as individuals can do to meet the obvious need. Is it possible to begin to feed the hungry in our world? Yes!
But this is never simply a matter of counting heads and measuring staples. The need is for a more spiritualized, God-based outlook. The demand is to start challenging and overcoming the feeling of despair that may plague our best efforts. ''The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.'' n1
n1 Luke 18:27.
Christ Jesus was faced with the apparent predicament of feeding large numbers of people with only a scant supply of food -- a few loaves of bread and fishes. Yet Jesus didn't wilt under this challenge. He turned unreservedly to God, infinite Spirit, acknowledging and magnifying the good at hand and expecting positive results. The people were fed. More than five thousand at one time and over four thousand at another. And there was food left over. n2
n2 See Matthew 14:14-21 and 15:29-38
Are these incidents merely isolated miracles of a bygone age?
Nothing that Christ Jesus lived or taught is impractical or applicable only to his day. Jesus warned his disciples about ''the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees,'' false doctrines that would make religion appear to be a matter of profession and outward observances rather than of love and productive service. Immediately after this warning, Jesus reminded them of the lesson of feeding the multitudes. n3
n3 See 16:6-12.
Isn't this warning equally important to us?
Christ Jesus is the Way-shower. In making earnest, unremitting effort to emulate the mental standpoint of the Master in feeding thousands, we too can make progress, no matter how slight it may seem, in our efforts to feed the world.
Turning wholly to God is not a matter of blind resignation, but of increased spiritual understanding of His nature and our relationship to Him. Jesus gave to humanity the concept of God as a universal, loving Father, the provider of all that is good and productive. He brought into clear focus the fact that man is the image, the very manifestation, of God's being.
In one sense couldn't we say that the teachings of Christianity themselves are feeding one of the deepest cravings of mankind -- the need for a feeling of worth, for a meaningful sense of identity and purpose? The Master persistently claimed his oneness with God, and he taught us to do the same. He spoke not only of my Father but of our Father. Lack, injustice, poverty, cannot be a part of the consciousness that is alive to these facts of spiritual being. Divine Love has no waifs, no second-class children.
Our provision is not a matter of God's arbitrarily doling out a meager amount of foodstuffs. Those loaves and fishes must have looked skimpy in light of the number of people to be fed. But Jesus turned away from this futile, false picture. He looked beyond a sense of hopelessness and materiality -- represented by the outlook of the disciples -- to an uncompromising expectancy of blessings.
Meeting hunger problems by beginning with the improvement of individual thought is immensely practical. Rotation of crops, improvement in seeds, advances in farm machinery -- these all began as ideas of a few individuals. Yet they have blessed millions. Just think what the potential will be as we start to elevate and God-center our approach to helping those in need. The same power that fed thousands in the time of the Master will feed the hungry of heart and body, no matter where they may be.
''In the scientific relation of God to man,'' writes Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, ''we find that whatever blesses one blesses all, as Jesus showed with the loaves and the fishes, - Spirit, not matter, being the source of supply.'' n4
n4 Science and health with key to the Scripturesm . p. 206.
Realizing in the depths of prayer God's care for His creation and the true source of man's provision, we'll make a substantial, effective contribution to feeding the world. We'll help prove that nothing good is ever impossible. DAILY BIBLE VERSE With God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26