11/18/18 – “They’re so hungry and I’m trying to lose weight”

Posted on : Nov 15th, 2018 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

One of the ironies of living in Los Angeles is that while we are one of the richest cities in the world, we have 50,000 people living in tents on our streets.  The economic divide between the rich and the poor is growing ever greater.   As the disparity increases, our ability to reverse it becomes more difficult.

About 25 years ago, a member of our church, Jim Comer, hosted the main course for a progressive dinner that we had.  Jim wanted to be sure that he had enough food for everyone, so he bought way too much.  He ended up with catering size trays of food that had not been touched.  He simply could not bring himself to throw out that food, so he took it downtown to the LA Mission.  When he got downtown, he couldn’t believe what he saw.  Being a professional writer, he processed what he experienced by writing about it.  His article was published throughout the Los Angeles media.  His title was “They’re So Hungry and I’m Trying to Lose Weight.” 

My sister-in-law sent me the graphic that is above this section.  It’s of a church sign board: “A Caravan of 5000 Confronted Jesus.  So He Fed Them.” That’s kind of an interesting “take” on the traditional story of “The Feeding of the 5,000.”  It certainly is different than sending the US Military to the Border to “Stop the Invasion!” 

Chef José Andrés is a celebrated chef.  He owns some of the most high-end restaurants in the world.  His culinary gifts take diners to a new experience of “delicious.”  But he is also a compassionate man.  When natural disasters hit, such as when hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, or when Haiti was nearly destroyed by an earthquake, or when Hurricane Michael slammed into Florida, Chef José Andrés responded by mobilizing relief efforts.  Using the same culinary skills that he uses in his restaurants, he creates astoundingly delicious meals for those who have seemingly lost everything.  He does this by using whatever foods people have or that he can put together, and from that, feeds thousands.

Each of these stories teaches us something about the meaning of Thanksgiving.  From our faith perspective the “heart” of Thanksgiving is about giving.  It’s about caring for others and being compassionate.  It’s about developing a generous spirit that empowers us to give to others.  It is about developing the ability to understand that each and every one of us has something to give toward the betterment of all.  Thanksgiving starts with giving and ends with gratitude.  We’ll celebrate that gift of faith on Sunday.

Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving to each of you!


Matthew 14:13-21

Jesus feeds five thousand!

Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.





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