What is the Biblical Basis for Our Offering of Letters?

God is a God of history, constantly up to some kind of transformation of our broken world. When we tune in we can see evidence of God’s hand shaping our world and surprising us in the midst of our uncertainty.

Scripture shows us a God who hears the cry of enslaved people and delivers them. Thousands of years ago God used Moses to appeal to the Egyptian government to release the enslaved Hebrew people. This began the long journey of the Israelites’ great exodus from Egypt. “Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today ….’” (Exodus 14:13)

God also uses enlightened rulers as agents of deliverance. In Psalm 72, King David offers prayerful instruction for his son Solomon, who will become the ruler of a nation. David’s expression of devotion and care for his people, near and far, is a foreshadowing of the righteous reign of Christ and his promise and covenant. “For he delivers the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper. … From oppression and violence he redeems their life .…” (Psalm 72:12-14)

God even uses the enlightened intervention of foreign governments. The good and faithful governor Nehemiah rebuilds a community, giving life and restoring dignity to the people, with the support of the God-inspired benevolence of King Cyrus of Persia. (Nehemiah 5:1-6)

In Jesus Christ, God was made flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus was God at work in history, as sins were forgiven, sight restored, and sickness healed (Matthew 15:30-31). As members of the body of Christ, we are a transformed people listening for God’s invitation to create life-giving changes.

As citizens of the United States and stewards of God’s creation, we have a unique calling. The way the United States responds to those in need is God’s concern and our responsibility.

At the turn of the millennium, the global Jubilee campaign for debt relief was an international example of a response to great need. So, too, are the Millennium Development Goals, international targets for reducing poverty that most of the world’s nations agreed to in 2000. Isn’t this God at work in our time, responding again to the cries of people enslaved by poverty and hunger?

Reforming U.S. foreign aid policies and programs is our chance to join God in creating something new. Making these changes can touch millions of lives and transform poverty and despair into life and dignity. Increasing the effectiveness and delivery of foreign assistance can move people from suffering to dignity—mothers can live through childbirth, infants can survive the clutches of parasitic illness, boys and girls can learn to read, and parents can earn enough to feed their families.

God is up to something and is calling us to share in this new creation.

Bread for the World
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