Saturday 21 February, 2015
AFTER THE YEARS THE LOCUSTS HAVE EATENYou will have plenty to eat,
until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.(vs 26)
The scars on his arms were distinctive: crocodile attack. A number of children in his village had these marks, wounds suffered as the children performed the daily duty of trekking to the river to get water. The crocs were the biggest but not the only peril in the water. Some years later his village in Malawi had the opportunity to become part of a Fairtrade scheme, which guaranteed tea farmers like him sufficient income to enable them to invest in their community. The first result of this was a well. Fresh water, no germs, no crocs.
It doesn’t have to be grinding poverty, slavery. After the years the locusts have eaten comes bounty that will take people – and the wild animals – by surprise. This is only a foretaste of what is to come: following this passage is Joel’s prophecy of the Day of the Lord where God’s Spirit is poured out on all people.
For me in the UK, how and where I shop today, as well as how I campaign, helps address extreme poverty. But how else can we form a relationship with the poor?
Prayer † Not in despair, but in hope, so help us be with the poor and oppressed, working for the good of all and respect for all. Amen.
The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) is a fellowship of 75 million Reformed Christians in 214 churches in 107 countries. Its member churches are Congregational, Presbyterian, Reformed and United churches with roots in the 16th-century Reformation led by John Calvin, John Knox and others. WARC has a small secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.