This is the passage we will be focusing on throughout the week in all of our daily devotions.
Often when we think of helping the hungry we imagine a Foodbank parcel or spare change being given. When we think of oppression we picture chains being unlocked; slaves and captives being freed. But this is only part of the story.
There are different types of hunger: have you ever hungered for company? For God? For self worth? In the same way oppression has different faces: have you ever felt trapped in a relationship? In a job? In your season?
The truth is we’re surrounded by those experiencing hunger and oppression, but it may be almost entirely invisible as we go about our everyday lives. It’s tempting in these moments to view others as broken, and we the fixers, but in reality we’re all a bit broken.
The Bible tells the story of creation – God calls it ‘good’ as he creates. Human beings, God and the natural world were all created in harmony with each other.
That harmony was broken by the Fall (Genesis 3) and our turn from God. People usually think of the Fall as creating a broken relationship between humans and God. However, as Genesis describes it, the result of our turn from God has meant multiple broken relationships: between ourselves and God certainly, but also our relationship with ourselves, with others, and with the whole of creation.
We are fundamentally relational beings. God created us to be in relationship with him, and by his very nature is relational: we know him as God the Father, Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit. The great news is, through Jesus, God is at work to restore all of these broken relationships: as Jesus says: ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’ (John 10:10). We have the privilege of coming alongside one another, working with Jesus to see all types of hungers and oppressions lifted.
Thank you for coming to feed the hungry and free the captives. Thank you for stories across the world and history of freedom and breakthrough in your name.
Thank you for giving us the same authority and remit: to feed the hungry and free the oppressed. May we see your name glorified as we seek to serve our neighbours, and see your Kingdom transformation come in all our lives.
Give us fresh eyes to see where and how we can come alongside others. Give us wisdom in our actions, an ever greater capacity to love, and humility to recognise our own brokenness.
Forgive us for the moments when we’ve closed our minds and hearts to see the hunger and oppression before us. Teach us to see with your truth, and love as you do.
We give you glory for every hunger satisfied, and every freedom gained.
we’re all broken. Have you grown used to hunger pangs or the weight of chains? Where might you need someone to draw alongside you? Spend some time with Jesus asking for his truth in your circumstance. Ask for help where you need it.
Remembering that hunger and oppression can take many forms, and in our busy world can often be hidden, have you taken the time recently to really ask how your family, friends and neighbours are? Remember that sharing pain requires vulnerability which can only come by spending time with each other; if it’s the first time you’ve asked in a while they might not feel comfortable to open up to you. Keep building the relationship!
Make a Difference is made up of so many projects tackling the different forms of hunger and oppression in our world. Take some time to investigate what the projects are up to: what sparks a passion in you? How can you get involved? It could be prayer, time or engagement, but decide how you will spend yourself to combat hunger and oppression in our world.