Well, this “Britterfly” currently writes you from the lovely city of Santa Barbara, Brasil! I flew here 5 days ago from Atlanta, GA to help out with the feeding program that Rick Bonfim Ministries has going in this hilly city. We provide 500 meals a week to the surrounding community. Andréa, Silvana, and Célio are the Brazilian trio down here: Célio manages, and Silvana and Andréa do all of the cooking and cleaning around the Missao (Mission). I love them all.
A couple of days ago, Kathy (my American roommate who is currently staying with me here) and I went to a local pet supplies store to purchase a couple hummingbird feeders for the mission. We just completed a gardening project that Kathy has been working on for 5 months, and I had the pleasure of planting the final few flowers and herbs. We thought it would be lovely to attract some hummingbirds to the area.
As I type, I am alone out in the courtyard of the mission that overlooks the garden. With nowhere else to hang my hummingbird feeder, I suspended it on one of the many air-drying lines we have outside. For about 30 minutes I have been waiting, praying that the local hummingbirds find out about the new food source. And as I wait, as so often happens, God speaks to me.
I am thinking about how food attracts living things; I mean, every living thing needs food to survive. People gather around a dinner table, ants gather supplies from compost piles, and hummingbirds drink from flowers and feeders. Food draws, attracts, and sustains life.
Jesus used many food illustrations when explaining the Kingdom of God. He said, “I am the Bread of Life: He who comes to Me shall never hunger; and he who believes on me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35) He responded to Satan’s temptation in the wilderness by quoting a Scripture from Deuteronomy 8, saying, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the Mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) When he broke bread on the night He was betrayed He said, “Take, eat; This is My body.” And then He took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, “Drink ye all of it; For this is My Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:26-28)
Jesus always attracted people, and still does. Just like the hummingbirds drawn to the new feeder filled with nectar, Jesus draws people to Himself. As Simon Peter said in John 6:68, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of Eternal Life!” Jesus speaks, and in reality IS the Living Word of God! (John 1) Jesus says, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after Righteousness: for they shall be filled. (Matthew 5:6) Hungry people are drawn, attracted to, and sustained by Jesus. Wow! This is why churches are filled with people who desire God. This why I sit in Brasil and hear, at 10:00 am, a woman singing at the top of her lungs, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”, also called “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory”. (As an Athens-dweller and a Georgia Bulldog, this brings a smile to my face for a couple of reasons.) She is singing gloria a Deus.
People are hungry all around us – and not just for physical food, but the more important spiritual food, the very Word of God! Jesus said in Matthew 25:34-40, “Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was hungry and you gave me food: I was thirsty and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you clothed Me: I was sick, and you visited Me: I was in prison, and you came unto Me. Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You? or thirsty and gave You a drink? When saw we You a stranger, and took You in? or naked and clothed You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison and came unto You? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, you have done it unto Me.”
Jesus instructed Simon Peter to feed His sheep. (John 21:15-17) And so must we. We must do more than merely give people food – we must give them Jesus. Every time I hand food to these hungry people in Santa Barbara, I feed them the Word, saying, “Jesus te ama!” (Jesus loves you!) I plan to learn more Portuguese Scriptures to encourage the people here.
Who is hungry around you? Do not pass them by. Feed them the Living Word of God, for they will never be hungry again if they have Him Who supplies all in all.