A prayer wave for hunger

many hands reach out for food

I am not sure that I can comprehend what it is like to be truly hungry.  Oh, I know the hunger pangs that come when it is meal time, and my body tells me that it is “time to eat.”  I know how I feel when I have chosen to indulge in “junk food” instead of something healthy and nutritious, and I know how I feel when I “skip a meal.”  I cannot, however, say that I in any way understand what it is like to be truly hungry. 

Amid this Advent season, Pope Francis has called upon the world to join together in a prayer wave to end the devastating reality of hunger. Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, has joined her voice to this call.

The call is simple.  Wherever you are today, Tuesday, December 10, at noon, take a few moments to pause and pray. Pray for those who are hungry. Pray that we will work together as a world community to bring an end to hunger. Pray for God to guide you and lead you to do your part so that others will have enough to eat.

According to the ELCA website,

  • 923 million people are chronically hungry
  • 947 million people are malnourished
  • 1 billion people live on less than $1 per day
  • 146 million children under age 5 are underweight
  • 11 million children under age 5 die every year – over 60% from hunger related causes
  • 1 in 7 people is hungry
  • 12.6 million children in America experience food insecurity

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I see statistics like those above, I can become overwhelmed.  The problem is so enormous, how is it possible to even begin to make an impact?  Perhaps the important thing is to simply begin, for if I begin, and you begin, and others begin, pretty soon, it becomes contagious, and our beginning together grows into action that is transformative.  What better beginning is there than prayer?

The Old Testament prophet Amos says, let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream (Amos 5:24)So, on December 10 at noon, why not pause to pray?  In your praying, make a beginning, and with your beginning, you will join God’s river of justice for the hungry of this world.

God bless your praying –

+Pr. Char


Rev. James A. Wetzstein and Rev. Charlene M. Rachuy Cox serve as university pastors at Valpo and take turns writing weekly reflections.