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Day 3

No hands but these hands

15     All eyes look to you for help;

you give them their food as they need it.

16     When you open your hand,

you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing. [1]


For those of us who live comfortable lives it is easy to read these short verses figuratively. We might substitute "food" for some other need we have. We might describe our hunger for justice or thirst for righteousness. But I wonder how many readers are actually thinking of food or the satisfaction of hunger, and God's role in that?  

Largely I take food for granted. When I think about where it comes from I imagine supermarkets. If I'm feeling particularly virtuous I might spare a thought for sustainable farming, carbon footprints and the plight of chickens...

However, when I turn my mind to Scripture and read Psalm 145 I wonder at this God who is to be praised forever, whose greatness is unfathomable, who is slow to anger and rich in love. And then I know I am just scratching the surface of the glory of God, but I also know that I am beginning to reorient my perspective. 

Ultimately all good things come from God - whether we take them for granted or not, whether we think we earned them because of our hard work, or good deeds, or anything else. God is the source of all good things. This amazing planet that we live on is God's gift to us. Therefore the food we receive and the hunger it satisfies reflects God's open hands. That is the model that God gives us. There is no question that this planet has all the resources necessary to feed everyone - therefore starvation is very simply a corruption of the model God has given us. Starvation is a sign of our closed fist.

In Holy Week we are invited to celebrate our vocations (lay and ordained) at a service called Chrism. During this service the Bishop consecrates the oil (chrism) used for anointing and blessing across the Diocese. Once this blessing is complete, the Bishop then anoints everyone who comes to him with the words of Theresa of Avila: Christ has no hands but these hands.

So take a look at your hands and ask God what God would have you do with them. May they be open as Christ's hands are open.


To learn more about "live below the line" and to make a pledge to the team please go here: https://www.livebelowtheline.org.nz/fundraisers/stjohnstheologicalcollege 


[1]Holy Bible : New Living Translation., Ps 145:14 (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 1997).

Story Published: 14th of March - 2018

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