In the article he noted, “God did not send Moses to Pharaoh to take up a collection of canned goods, but rather to insist that he let the slaves go free” (Living Lutheran, May 2017, p. 12).
I found that interesting and motivating. Sometimes we as the Church are called to stand up for the rights of the hungry, the thirsty, the downtrodden. We must do what we can to get to the root of the problem and not just put a Band-Aid on it.
This is not to say that collecting canned goods is a bad thing, of course. It is a necessary part of the big picture. But the big picture often needs to be addressed head on by working to improve or get rid of poor systems in place so that those who are suffering can be fully freed from their confining circumstances.
Beckmann is convinced that through the “big picture” work of Bread for the World and other organizations like it that we can end hunger in our country and around the world by 2030. A lofty goal, but not impossible with the help of God. As Beckmann notes, the number of people in the world in extreme poverty has been cut in half since 1990, so we are making progress and we are well on our way.
I am reminded of the words that Christ spoke when he read from the scroll of Isaiah at his home church:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)
The work of Christ is to fully free people from whatever bondage they might be in. The Spirit of the Lord is upon us to be ambassadors for Christ and do all we can to release from bondage the hungry and the hurting.
Sometimes that means speaking on behalf of the hungry and hurting and going directly to the people in charge (as Moses did).
Sounds scary, I know. but it is at the vert moment of daunting tasks like this that I repeat to myself the empowering words of Philippians 4:13: I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Even Moses didn’t want to face Pharaoh to free God’s people at first, but God convinced him. And it’s good thing that he did.