16 October 2012 – Earlier, I posted a rather gloomy outlook for world food supplies on our News Feed here. But for Christians that’s not the only outlook we need to consider. No matter how dire things get, we must never give up, and never cease striving to feed the hungry and ensure the world’s natural resources are respected and used wisely for present and future generations.
Recently, Professor of Jonathan Boston of Victoria University spoke of the urgent need for action in the face of cataclysmic environmental impacts that are destroying God’s creation, and threatening human habitation on this planet. He was speaking at the Christianity and the Ecological Crisis conference. As Christians, we must be ‘utterly realistic, but also hopeful’, because our faith is based on the resurrection of Christ and the guidance and companionship of the Holy Spirit. We must never give up.
‘Doing what is right, responding to the Spirit of God, is important and valuable, regardless of the apparent outcome,’ said Professor Boston. As St Paul remarks: ‘Our labour in the Lord will not be in vain.’ (1 Cor 15:58)
Today is World Food Day, with a theme of agricultural cooperatives – key to feeding the world. Caritas supports cooperative and community-oriented initiatives in diverse places such as Nepal, Cambodia, and Timor Leste – food and livelihoods are being provided for families working close to the earth and nature.
So in the face of the inter-related environmental and food crises we face, let us remember the role and value of cooperatives and cooperation around the world – as ordinary people strive to improve their lot and that of their families and communities.
Let us remember also people in Aotearoa New Zealand who are getting back to basics, growing their own food, building community and self-reliance through community gardens, innovating new approaches to cutting food waste, and sharing from their abundance by providing food for those in need.
These words from Our Lord’s Prayer are particularly apt:
Give us today our daily bread,
And forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us …
- Martin de Jong, Caritas Communications & International Advocacy Coordinator and community gardener in Moera (‘sleeping in the sun’), Lower Hutt.