Monday, November 5, 2012

Meeting Jesus in the Food Line

Jesus told us that however we respond to those who are naked, hungry, homeless or in prison, we are actually responding to him. This week, I am spending a week in San Francisco eating with the homeless to commune more closely with God.

I've seen Jesus in the dinning halls throughout San Francisco. In the scorching heat, Jesus waits about an hour and a half in the food line, not because of a natural disaster that unexpectedly plagued the area, but because we've grown too used to the many unnatural disasters that keep people living on the edge.

Even if he's managed to avoid or recover from addiction, Jesus's wilderness walking and slipping mental health will likely keep him wrestling demons (present and in haunting flash backs of the past) no one else can see or hear.

Once inside, Jesus devours the food put in front of him, rejects the items that are too hard to chew with a toothless mouth and rarely washes his hands before or after eating. Distant screams of scripture might be a sign of things to come or they might be the product of having thousands of Jesuses in this food line.

In Mark's Gospel, Jesus leads the disciples through a cornfield to show them how to feed themselves and the other followers who are hungry. Jesus embodied the command that we feed people and ensure they have the basic necessities to allow them full participation in the life of congregations and temples.

The story of the widow putting in her last two pennies in the temple offing boxes, is not only an illusion to the fact that those who are the most vulnerable don't get to chose if they'd like take up a cross and follow. Rather, it's tied to their wrists for them daily by our inability to respond.

Regardless of the choices that create poverty, hunger and homelessness, we are called to be a community that sells all our things and gives it to the beggars.

We couldn't imagine actually doing this, because we don't trust our pastor, our neighbor or our family members to do the same once we become the ones in need of care and support.

And like Mark's Gospel, I end this blog without comforting you in hopes that it will inspire you to do something - whatever it is that is yours to do.

Perhaps you help with my goal of raising $3,000 while on street retreat. You can make a secure online donation to Welcome, or participate in our reverse auction.

Or perhaps you will learn more about these and other lessons in the Gospel of Mark. join me Tuesday night at 6pm (PST) for Bible Study that Doesn't Suck or pre-order the book which will be out in early December.

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