The challenge of a first world Christmas.
You will see a video - it started playing as you arrived here. Most of us have seen it before. On the one hand, we must acknowledge that these artists ARE doing something. They ARE singing "Feed the World" and they ARE reminding us of our collective neglect of the hungry. They ARE drawing attention to the hunger that dominates our world. Did you know an estimated 21,000 people starved to death today? 21,000 will starve to death tomorrow? 672,000 people will starve to death between now and Christmas dinner.
As I watched the video of a dead woman being carted off suddenly shift to artists emerging from well-appointed autos, posing in their latest designer clothes for the paparazzi who wildly snapped photo's with a million dollars worth of cameras before these artists ducked into multi-million dollar recording studios, it made me pause. The cost of one of those leather jackets or a single microphone feeds a family for years... and we sing "feed the world"? But do we mean it?
As the video continued, I became even more unsettled. Let me pose this question: what is the collective net worth of these activist-artists? Frankly, when I quickly went over $2BILLION USD (Bono alone is $700M) I stopped. I simply couldn't finish the tally... perhaps I was afraid of the answer.
When wealth is concentrated it means there are "haves" and "have-nots." Wealth concentration means resources that could, in fact, feed the world is hoarded by a few wealthy people... some eat and some do not. We sing "feed the world"? But do we mean to do it?
We have ears. Why don't we hear the irony in this song as we in the developed west sing "feed the world"?
We have eyes, why don't we see the hypocrisy of people with more than $2Billion in net worth decrying poverty as they sing "feed the world" and people starve?
We have minds. Why can't we apply the true message of Christmas to ourselves and actually, you know, feed the world!!?
Now comes the hard part.
Most every Canadian, American and European lives in abundance. We are the top 5% of the wealthiest people on the planet. We can all see the wealth concentrated on Bono and his friends, but can we see that excess wealth is concentrated on us too? So what we ask of Bono, surely we must ask of ourself. We sing feed the world. We say love thy neighbour. But do WE actually mean to do it?
Do they know its Christmas? Perhaps that is the wrong question.
Do WE know its Christmas?
The second video shows our ACM pastors and their congregations feeding the elderly, poor, orphaned and lost in their village in Tanzania. They ARE poor, yet they ARE feeding the world.
Donations collected through CanadaHelps.org
The Phillippians 2 community meal at Kinesi Tanzania, July 2017
With the help of Christians in the west, ACrossMission sponsored congregations in Tanzania will provide Christmas meals to the elderly, sick, outcast, poor and orphaned “yet to be Christians” in their community. They are praying. They want to feed over 2,500 people in at least 21 villages. This is a partnership! The ACM congregations are able to contribute some rice, ugali, chia (hot sugared tea) and samaki (fish) as well as the firewood and charcoal necessary for cooking. They will also do the cooking, serve meals, and offer prayers.
Our hope is that Christians in the west can provide at least $330Cdn in food assistance to each meal this Christmas Day. I know this loving act will be greatly celebrated, gratefully received and much appreciated.
Will you help? Click any "Feed the World" button to donate. Please pray for this gift of love.
Please prayerfully consider how you might join with poor congregations in Tanzania to help them serve God’s people in need this Christmas Day.
This desire to serve grew out of a teaching from Philippians 2 which we studied together this passed July. Here is a short video we were able to compile from the Kinesi Tanzania meal: Kinesi Meal