Justice for the Hungry

Tuesday, July 8

7-8By Michael S. Clarke of Clay Cross, Derbyshire, England

You who are my disciples must be found continuing in the forefront of those organizations and movements which are recognizing the worth of persons and are committed to bringing the ministry of my Son to bear on their lives.

—Doctrine and Covenants 151:9

In Matthew 14, we read about Jesus feeding the 5,000 on a mountainside. We can imagine there were people on that mountainside going through bad times—impoverished, sick, struggling with everyday life. It is the same for us today. Britain has high unemployment, and people find it hard to buy food.

In Clay Cross, our church started a food bank. This ministry recognizes the Worth of All Persons and seeks to Abolish Poverty, End Suffering. It is a great way to help the community, and it brings churches of different denominations together. We collect food from supermarkets and families. We store it in a warehouse we call “The Hub.”

Our food bank is open two times a week: one night at the local Church of England, and on Friday afternoon at Community of Christ. When people come to the food bank, we talk to them, listen to their stories, and if they would like, we pray with them.

In the low times in our lives, we may keep concerns bottled up. I learned it is better to talk to someone and share. So, as part of our ministry, we listen. When the food is ready, it is gratifying to see how our personal attention gives our clients a sense of worth.

I pray with people from other denominations at the food bank. We are all committed to the ministry of Jesus Christ. The people at the food bank are like family now. It is wonderful to be in a team of great people who care about people in their community. I needed similar help in the past.

I think Jesus would be happy with the food bank, because when we feed the poor, we feed him. So set the table for justice.

Prayer for Peace Generous God, let us remember, when we feed the hungry, we feed Christ. And, when we work for justice, it is Christ’s peace we share.

Spiritual Practice: Honoring the Worth of All Persons Read Psalm 139:13–18. After each reading sit quietly and let the words sink deeply into your mind, heart, and body. Imagine God watching you grow in your mother’s womb. What thoughts and feelings do you have about being “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14)?

Sense the intimate knowledge and love God has for you and every one. Be aware of the sacred worth of each person. Weep with God over the soul-wounding forces and events that rob people of dignity and worth. How does God invite you to notice, protect, heal, and affirm the spiritual identity of all God’s beloved people today? Pray for God’s compassion.

Peace Covenant Today, God, when I help those in need, I will think of it as your justice, rather than my own charity.

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2 Comments

  1. What a beautiful story!! Thank you for sharing it, especially your personal experience.

  2. Vera Entwistle

     /  8 July 2014

    Michael, greetings from a “Wiganer” who lives in the US. The Eugene Congregation has a Community Food Cupboard, too, and the people who come to our cupboard which is open on the last weekend of each month when funds for the poor are at their lowest, are so appreciative. Recently we had a case of pumpkin donated to us and a few volunteers met at church to bake pumpkin bread to give to the Cupboard. Our group enjoyed fellowship and our clients benefitted from home baked goods. We were all winners. Brian and I are always glad to hear news from our homeland and we send our love and support.

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