May 26, 2024

I was Hungry

Matthew 25:31-46

“I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. . . .”

—  Matthew 25:35

I meet a lot of hungry people at the college where I serve as a campus pastor. Some are hungry because they are too busy to cook and eat. I know a student who works the night shift, catches a couple of hours of sleep, and rushes off to her 9:00 a.m. class. She later arrives at our interfaith center and is hungry. Other students are hungry because they are unable to find a job. They face the choice of paying tuition and rent or buying food. They cannot afford to do all three. Many full-time students work two and even three jobs to pay their bills—and sometimes even that is not enough.

In the world today nearly a billion people suffer from severe food insecurity. Millions face the prospect of starving to death. The causes of hunger vary widely—drought, war, sickness, disaster, unemployment, mental illness, addictions, and more.

One day each of us will stand before the Lord, and we will hear Jesus say either “I was hungry and thirsty, and you gave me food and drink” or “I was hungry and thirsty, and you gave me nothing.” Each of us is also called to show God’s love through the gifts and resources we have—however large or small.

We all have a choice. Which of those responses will we hear from the mouth of Jesus?

Lord Jesus, when we meet or see people who are in need, may we not turn away but recognize your invitation to show love and care, knowing that you are calling us to serve you. Move us to be people who love your mercy! Amen.

About the author — George Koopmans

George Koopmans has served as an ecumenical chaplain at Medicine Hat College in Medicine Hat, Alberta, since November 2021. Prior to entering into chaplaincy, George served as a pastor to two congregations—one in Minnesota (Luverne), and the other in Medicine Hat. George and his wife, Emily, have four adult daughters and three grandchildren. Hiking, biking, and birdwatching are his favorite hobbies.

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