Feed Each Other

feed-each-other

There is an old folk parable that bears repeating.

In hell, a perpetual banquet was held in order to provide for the residents there. Each person was given a spoon that was two feet long. Unfortunately, the inhabitants languished in hunger because they could not feed themselves.

In heaven, a great, eternal banquet was also held. Each indweller was given a spoon that was two feet long. The citizens of heaven remained well nourished in their provision. They feasted and strengthened themselves by feeding one another.

For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’” (Matthew 25:35-40)

Where has our kindness gone? What happened to our generosity? How did we become a people without ethics? Why have we allowed anger to rule us instead of our sweet, loving, grace-giving God? When did we abandon the free gifts we received in order to take up our chains again?

We have become self-absorbed, so fixated on our own independence, on wealth, on acquisition and consumption, we have forgotten about those in need – family members; our neighbors; the poor in the next district, ward, precinct or parish; families who cannot afford to feed their children breakfast before they go to the school a few blocks away from you; seniors next door or in our church; and yes, immigrants.

“Sell your possessions and give generously to the poor. You can have a different kind of treasure in heaven: one that never depreciates, one that never defaults, one that can’t be plundered by crooks or destroyed by natural calamities. Where your treasure is reveals where your heart resides.” (Luke 12:33-34)

Do we live in hell, gathering so many possessions we don’t remember what we own? Are we chasing after more of this and bigger of that only to have our closets filled and bank accounts bursting but don’t have time for relationships with our spouses, our children or our friends? Are we so busy trying to feed ourselves more and more and more we’ve forgotten to connect with God?

Have we become so fearful we would rather close our borders than open our hearts? Have we become so callous we would rather blame than engage in conversation? Have we become so anesthetized, we would rather starve our souls than open our eyes? Have we become so afraid to feed each other on God’s unconditional love and extravagant grace?

“If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people’s sins, if you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.” (Isaiah 58:9-10, The Msg)

After Peter turned his back on Jesus, He gave Peter a second chance to affirm and show his love. Peter denied Jesus three times; Jesus allowed Peter to declare his love three times. At once, Jesus said to Peter, “Feed my sheep.” (John 21:15-17)

I pray we do as Peter did; declare our love and focus on feeding others.

24 comments

  1. That excerpt from Matthew 25 is one of my all-time favorites. There is so much potential contained in those verses that is routinely overlooked. I know of church deacons and self-professed Jesus-lovers who drive past the homeless; blaming them by stating “Get a job!” Whenever they do that, I think of those verses.

    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You know, Darryl, it doesn’t matter how much theological education we have; if we don’t have a real relationship with the Lord, we won’t have His blessed gift of loved and grace in our hearts to freely give away.
      Thanks for adding this thoughtful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This scripture came to mind while reading your blog post.

    Mark 8:36 King James Version (KJV)

    36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

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    1. Great one! Thank you.

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  3. Pass out the two-foot spoons! 🙂
    Good word, Susan.

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  4. These are truly words to live by in this new year. And such a cool video!

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    1. Thank you. I thought the video perfectly illustrated not just the parable, but how, when we begin to open our hearts, we feed others and receive blessings at the same time.

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  5. Wonderful pic to go with your important message. Recently, seven people were issued citations for setting up a table in a park to feed the homeless there. In our country, and of course throughout the world, poverty and hunger exist on a massive scale. ” where has our kindness gone ” is a good question for all of us. As I continue to drive by people in need without helping them.

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    1. Seriously? So, see my comment to Susan P. I guess I would need to find a way around that somehow.
      We need to step up and speak up, even when it places us in opposition to other Christians. As I said to Pete, too many times we have closed our borders to people fleeing persecution and poverty. When we close our hands and hearts to giving, we also close them to receiving blessings. Though that is not the reason to give, when we are empty of God’s love and grace, we become angry and afraid; we cannot give.
      We must first ask the Spirit to help us be courageous enough to be open, to take away our anger and fear in order to see with God’s loving eyes.

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  6. My husband and I were talking about that topic last evening. It is quite ugly out there. I think that there are more than one mostly are interwoven.

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    1. Absolutely, Susan. Much is interwoven, and these are not simple issues. But we always need to go back to the Source of our hearts and minds, the One who guides our lives.
      While the laws of my country may momentarily dictate my actions, God is still the guidepost of my daily conscience, my integrity and my soul.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What evil things other other people do does not give us license to follow.

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  7. Lord help me to be kinder, gentle and encouraging. Take any deep rooted anger from me and replace it with love. Help and direct me to those you would have me love. Forgive my pride and self focus.Help me to have a servants heart. Susan this is the only response I could come up with. I appreciate you sharing this with us.

    Much love Tom

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    1. Thank you for your kind and loving response, Tom. I appreciate your honest endeavor to be open, to be loving, to extend grace…especially to me. ❤

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  8. You ask a lot of soul searching questions here, Susan. I will certainly be thinking about each of them. I do have a question for you. One of your questions was “Have we become so fearful we would rather close our borders than open our hearts?” Do you feel we should continue to allow people to come into this country illegally, as they have been for years? The reason a wall is being discussed is to stop illegals, not to stop those who want to legally come into this country. I don’t think anyone wants to stop those who want to enter the right way.

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    1. Hey, Pete. I will answer your question about borders in two ways.
      First, statistics were shown time and time again that the lowest number of illegal immigrants to the U.S. in the last two years has been from Mexico.

      Second, from WWII forward, this country has had a dismal reputation of refusing immigrants fleeing from persecution and poverty. We have had so many opportunities to do the right thing, yet we have turned our backs.

      When we create divisions in our mind between “legal” and “illegal” immigrants, we step backward into grace by law. The right way is Christ’s way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I realize that Christ’s way is the right way. But even Christ told the lepers to go to the priests to be declared clean. There is a right time to utilize the law, and it can still be applied with grace. Is it not right to ask people to enter the country legally? What are laws for if we don’t enforce them?
        I looked up a couple things and noticed that we have accepted over 680,000 refugees in the last 15 years.. That seems like a pretty good number
        You are correct that Mexico has a lower total than other countries, but the flow across our southern border is still large from other countries in Central and South America. If you believe Christ’s way is to just let them come in, regardless of the laws in place, I guess I’m not sure I agree.

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      2. I simply think we need to have provision for people. We are the wealthiest nation on earth, yet we deny refuge. Somehow, we’re doing it wrong; the laws need to be changed to make it easier to become citizens, easier to vote, easier to have health care, easier to get an education for all of us, not more difficult.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That I can agree on!

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  9. me too –

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