You gotta show up

The Road to Emmaus by Chinese artist He Qi

by Stephen H. Padre

Last week, the Church celebrated the Ascension of the Lord – Jesus returning to heaven after he rose from the dead on Easter. Ascension is a day of Jesus going away. But for congregations that follow the Revised Common Lectionary, since Easter, we have been hearing in the Gospel readings stories of Jesus showing up and being present in the lives of his disciples and other friends in surprising ways.

On Easter morning, he appears to Mary Magdalene outside the tomb right after his resurrection in the greatest surprise of all. He is alive – back from the dead! Later that day, he appears suddenly in a locked room among the disciples, including Doubting Thomas. And later, Jesus appears to a few of the disciples on the beach at the Sea of Tiberias and has breakfast with them.

Woody Allen once said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” In the Easter and post-Easter stories, Jesus shows up a lot. He’s present in the flesh, which is the key to the whole Easter story. He’s not a ghost or just a memory of someone who’s gone for good. He rose from the dead, he’s alive again, and he’s there in body with his friends again. Thomas touches the wounds in his side, and he shares meals with his disciples again. He’s really there. What’s the lesson for us here?

At Bread for the World, we’re all about showing up too. Bread believes that we can end hunger, but we need the federal government to step up and do its part because it has a huge and important part to play in ending hunger. Only the U.S. government has the resources and authority to end the policies and conditions that allow hunger to persist.

How can we get the U.S. government to step up and do its part? When we, the people, show up. We need to push the government to do its part. The government works for us and on behalf of us, and we get to participate in our democracy and tell the government what we would like it to do. The government won’t know what we want of it until we show up, either through our words or our presence.

We, the citizens and residents of this country, show up in these methods of advocacy:

  • We send our desires to our government in writing or by voice. Bread gives advocates the means and assistance to speak to their representatives in the government. We help you tell the government that it needs to lead in ending hunger through hand-written, personalized letters, emails, or phone calls. You share your words and transmit them to your senators and representatives, and they are you appearing before the government.
  • You can come to Washington, D.C., in person. Bread’s annual Lobby Day is on June 7. We help you visit your members of Congress and bring your desire for an end to hunger, which is a very powerful way of expressing yourself. If you can’t travel to Washington, D.C., in person, you can still join us for Virtual Lobby Day and be part of that crowd on that day.

Will you show up with us?

Stephen H. Padre is the managing editor in Bread’s communications department.

Photo: Jesus also showed up suddenly among two disciples who were walking to Emmaus, a town outside Jerusalem, on Easter afternoon. Painting by Chinese artist He Qi

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