Scriptural Manna: Are You Ready?

April 8, 2015
Bread Blog is exploring passages from The Poverty & Justice Bible. Photo: Joe Molieri / Bread for the World

Editor's note: Bread Blog is running a year-long series exploring passages from The Poverty & Justice Bible published by the American Bible Society (Contemporary English Version). The intent is a theological exploration at the intersection of social justice and religion. The blog posts will be written by members of the church relations staff at Bread for the World.

By Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy

“The Lord’s Spirit has come to me, because he has chosen me to tell the good news to the poor. The Lord has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners, to give sight to the blind, to free everyone who suffers, and to say, ‘This is the year the Lord has chosen.’” (Luke 4:18-19)

God is a God of history, constantly transforming our broken world. When we tune in through prayer and scripture reflection, we can see evidence of God’s hand shaping our world and surprising us even in the midst of our uncertainty. 

What’s broken in our world?  How about the 1.2 billion people who still live in extreme poverty — on less than $1.25 per day -- and the 2.6 million children who die of hunger-related causes each year?

Where is evidence of God’s transformative work? The number of hungry people has dropped significantly over the past two decades. And since 1990, there has been a 34 percent reduction in global hunger.

He is Risen indeed!

We are called to submit to God’s plan to end hunger for all creation.​

In Luke 4 as found in Isiah 61, scripture shows us a God who hears the cry of enslaved people and delivers them, releasing captives and setting oppressed people free. Surely God lives! 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)

As followers of Christ, we see signposts of God’s saving power and path to freedom in yesterday and today. But seeing isn’t our only task.  We aren’t called to be bystanders or onlookers of God’s transformative work.  As Pope Francis said recently, “I see the Church as a field hospital after a battle.” 

As members of the body of Christ, we are a transformed people empowered to partner in God’s work. And as citizens of the United States and stewards of God’s creation, we have a unique calling. For Christian advocates, that often means addressing root causes that keep people impoverished, hungry, and suffering. In order to change this, we need to engage governments and policies for the common good, for the flourishing of society.

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 .…” 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)

God is raising up modern-day Nehemiahs and calling us to get about the business of new creation.

Are you ready?

Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy leads national evangelical church relations at Bread for the World.

We are called to submit to God’s plan to end hunger for all creation.​

from our Resource Library

For Education

  • Election Resources

    One of the best times to raise the issues of hunger and poverty is during election campaigns. Engage candidates in your state/district on hunger and poverty using our elections resources.
  • Racially Equitable Responses to Hunger During COVID-19 and Beyond

    By Marlysa D. Gamblin and Kathleen King

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as when a person or household does not have regular, reliable access to the foods needed for good health. Black, Indigenous, and Other People of Color (BIPOC) have historically had higher...

  • Fact Sheet: COVID-19 Global Pandemic, Better Nutrition Protects Lives

    With the coronavirus now spreading in low-resource contexts and new waves of infection expected in the coming year, better nutrition for vulnerable people is more important than ever.

For Faith

  • Finding Hope, Ending Hunger on Both Sides of the Border: A Bilingual Latino Devotional

    Devotional writers challenge us to feel the Spirit of God within us and to hear God’s urgent call to demand justice so all can put food on the table.
  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.

    The Bible on...

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

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