Bread – Famine

December 11, 2013


Readings for Wednesday, December 11, 2013, designated by the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: Amos 8:1-14; Rev. 1:17-2:7; Matt. 23:1-12; Psalms 38,119:25-48

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When we think of “famine,” we think of lack of food leading to weakness, loss of strength, and ultimately, death. This idea of famine may be somewhat foreign to Americans, since we are used to supermarkets overflowing with food of every origin, variation, quality, and quantity, but it really exists in much of the world among many of its peoples.

In our reading from Amos today, we are presented with a totally different type of “famine.” Amon prophesies “’Behold, the days are coming,’ declares the Lord God, ‘when I will send a famine on the land – not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the Lord, but they shall not find it.’” Amos 8:11-12

The more I thought about the type of famine where the word of the Lord was gone, where there was none to be had, the more worried I became. What would happen if the word of God was just … gone?

In no particular order, these are the things I can think of which would happen if there was a famine of God’s words in Plano, Texas, where I live. First, there would be no prayer. Oh I could toss up my wants of the day, but there would be dead silence in return. There would be no “No,” no “Yes,” or no “Trust Me.” Second, there would be no personal relationship to God. God would be theory, something to contemplate. But he would not be someone with whom I could talk. He would not be someone who walked with me. He would not be someone who was with me at the heights of my life or in the valleys; He would not be someone who was with me at death. Oh, He might be there, but without His words, how would I know it? Third, there would be no guidance for living. There are only two sources of rules for my life … those that I receive from God and those that I receive from other people. Without God’s words ringing in my ears, my only rules would be from others, giving them absolute power over me. Some might say that I could impose my own rules, but that is a joke, because sinful man imposes no rules on himself; anarchy is just a step away from exaltation of the self (my rules) over everyone else’s rules. Fourth, charity would disappear. In my sinful self, why would I care about my brother unless to get something from him or her? Fifth, civility and civilization itself would disappear, unless imposed by a dictator, meaning that freedom would also disappear. Hope would also evaporate.

You can probably add to this list, but you may not want to.

On the other hand, it is useful to contemplate the absence of God’s word because it reminds of us of how much we have to grateful for, and to whom we should be grateful.

God’s word incarnate is Jesus Christ. If there is a famine of God’s words, there is no Jesus Christ.

No hope, no salvation, no rescue, no life. Just death. That is the reality of a famine of God’s words.

Now, perhaps, one significance of the Incarnation, the birth of Jesus Christ, can be better appreciated. When Jesus was born, it was like God built a supermarket, filling it with good food, and declaring that there is no longer any famine of God’s words in the world.

And then we are reminded of Jesus’ command to us to “Take, eat” and “Take, drink.” Take and eat of Him, for His body is life. Taken and drink of Him, for His blood is the blood of sacrifice for you and me.

To God be the glory! Come, let us adore Him!

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© 2013 GBF

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