A friend of mine sent me a MoveOn.org communiqué.
A friend of mine sent me a MoveOn.org communiqué. Please don’t judge my friend (or me) by that action! I realize it’s a bit risky even mentioning this national left-of-center organization of political activists. But I’m also going to risk alienating a generation of young activists (which most of “this generation” is—whether left-of-center, right-of-center, middle-of-center, wherever that is) by commenting on the particular cause-response for which this MoveOn.org email is recruiting.
The cause? The just-voted (by the midnight deadline) compromise budget agreement adopted by the House and Senate of the U.S. Congress. Incensed with some of the announced “immoral budget cuts,” MoveOn solicited the popular recording artist, Moby (I had to go online to find out who he was), to record a YouTube piece decrying the government’s abandonment of children, the young, the elderly in favor of corporations and the wealthy. (It’s more of the hackneyed political debate that we’ve become accustomed to in this nation—both sides/parties zealously resorting to over-kill to drive home their agendas.)
But leaving that debate for others, consider for a moment MoveOn’s protest strategy. They are recruiting 30,000 Americans to voluntarily undergo a food fast to show solidarity with the economically disenfranchised in this nation. Give up eating a meal or two, for a day or two, to show the nation’s leaders how concerned you are over the plight of the poor, and the government’s response (or lack, thereof). “30,000 people fasting” is the email’s subject line.
Why talk about this at all? Because what struck me, as I watched the faces of ordinary Americans holding up empty plates with words of protest scribbled onto those plates, was the question: What if we—the young and old in the church—felt as deeply about the spiritual poverty and spiritual starvation of our nation, our world, our civilization? How willing would we be to fast from food—not to move Congress, but to plead with the God of the universe to give us his heart for the starving and then give us the courage to become missionaries for him to America, to the world, to every soul we know hungry for the Bread of Life?
How serious is the famine of spiritual starvation? “‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘that I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD, but shall not find it’” (Amos 8:11, 12). The prophet declares that one day there will be no Bread of Life left for the starving—civilization as we know it will implode upon itself.
But that day is not here yet. There still is time to take Christ, the only satisfying Bread of Life (John 6:35), to this starving generation. We must never fast from that Bread. But perhaps we, too, might do well to fast from our daily bread and pray, in order to seek the mind of God for the part he would have us play in his endtime “spiritual famine relief.” Once you have the Bread for yourself, there’s no telling where the Spirit will send you in order for you to share it. Move on, indeed! Because there is a hunger no government on earth will ever be able to satisfy. And because if we don’t, people will starve to death. So what will be your next move?