Ending Hunger Is an Audacious Call
He is called the "preacher’s preacher" and the June 8 homiletics workshop during Bread for the World’s National Gathering made that clear. Rev. Dr. James Forbes Jr., speaking to a roomful of preachers and participants, said preaching must engage people in scripture and show a truth that will transform behavior. He also had a message for Bread members responding to hunger.
“If my sermon is right, people will leave with a fresh sense of urgency to do what they are called to do," Rev. Forbes said.
He used the example of Luke 8:40-56 and presented the heart of the gospel that “punches a hole in the darkness.” The daughter, who is raised from the dead, shows us that not only does God pay attention to detail, but that food is an essential component of creation. After telling the child to get up, Jesus commands the people to feed the child.
“Jesus understands that although the first half of the miracle is re-starting her metabolic process, she is not fully healed," Rev. Forbes said. "She needs food.” Food is not a minor detail, he reminded us, but is essential to the fulfillment of God’s creation–before even creating us, in Genesis, God creates food.
“If God in creation provides food,” Rev. Forbes said, "it is an anomalous situation to have a world where some people can’t eat.” Thus, starvation and hunger are a distortion of creation and our call is to heal the world–even when faced with the obstacle of disbelief. The power of healing and wholeness comes through faith. Ending hunger, as Bread members are called to do, must be anchored in our faith.
Belief requires great audacity, and it is what Christians responding to hunger in today’s world must rely on–even if the work is spurned.
“If you live in a nation that doesn’t believe everyone needs to eat, there is a great deterrent in that mentality," Rev. Forbes said. "[E]specially if that mentality is present in the Congress of the United States.”
Rev. Forbes is preaching and teaching homiletics workshops across the nation this year. Check our Preaching to End Hunger schedule to see if there is an upcoming event in your area.