Advent Prayers, 4 December
The disciples said to Jesus,
“Send the crowds away, so that they may go and buy food for themselves.”
Jesus said to them: “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat.”
(from Matthew 14.15-16)
There is a woman who stands up in church every week, and talks about socks. She talks about damp socks and smelly socks. Worn out socks and fluffy new socks. She is quite passionate about fluffy new socks. New socks are a wonder: a sign of God’s love.
This woman spends her days working among the homeless. She tries to build relationships with people who have learned to trust no one, and she does that – in part – by giving them socks. So, each Sunday, she speaks with her church community about socks, the people she’s given them to, and the difference they have made. Then, she asks for more socks. Every week. Always.
She is very clever. If she spoke every week of the horrors of homelessness, of hunger, cold, pain and fear, we would feel overwhelmed. But socks are OK. We can handle socks. Socks ground us in a human story, and we can see that it is a story we might share.
At the feeding of the five-thousand, the disciples nearly lost sight of the people around them. Instead of seeing people, they saw a crowd, and that crowd was exhausting. “Send them away. We’ve done so much already. Let them go and find food somewhere else.” But Jesus would have none of it: “You give them something to eat.” You, meet their need. You, share your food and your lives and your stories. Share, until God’s presence is known.
Today, we pray for the work of FareShare Foodbanks. Fareshare redistributes food that would otherwise go to waste and co-ordinates food donations across the country. Fareshare works with local community projects , so that the food is shared in ways that help address multiple needs in the community.
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