The Poor at Christmas

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I love the CBC. I like their radio better than their television. Two radio segments that I really love are IDEAS and UNDER THE INFLUENCE . IDEAS is about  anything and everything. They host the annual Massey lectures, that are about a current issue, and delivered by a Canadian. UNDER THE INFLUENCE  is about marketing and business. Much about what is discussed has relevance to the church, and how it is struggling at this point of its history. There are many more shows I really enjoy on CBC Radio.

On Friday December 7, CBC Radio will host its annual Sounds of the Season event at its downtown Toronto building  in the Barbara Frum Atrium. I have always wanted attend, but as a pastor, Fridays are always busy at the church, so I have not gotten there. The event raises money for the food banks in Toronto. There are interviews and music performances all day long. The CBC invites people to donate non-perishable food items, or cash, to go to help relieve the hunger pangs of people in Toronto. This event has been held for over ten years, and they always try to beat their record in the amount of pounds of food that they collect, and the amount of cash that is raised. They take donations through Christmas.

It is a great project, and doing it at Christmas is a good idea. But, it is also unnerving to always break the record for food items and cash. This means that poverty is increasing in Toronto and Canada. Toronto is considered to be one of the great cities to live. There are many million dollar condos all over downtown. But, poverty continues to grow, and the food banks are used more often by families at risk of not having enough. I wish Sounds of the Season  would continue to highlight Canadian musicians and world changers, but it would be nice if they could raise only 100 lbs of food, and $20,000 for people who don’t have enough to go around the table. But, this year more money and food will be needed.

Jesus once said, “The poor will always be with you” (Matthew 26:11). What does this mean? It might mean that the poor are somehow connected to us living out our faith? Maybe those in power (like me) see our needs being more important? I am so much focused on my own well-being , that I forget the poor and disadvantaged? Some people might always be a risk for not having enough ? The Old Testament talks about taking care of those at risk. They structured it into the community beliefs system. The mark of the Israelite community  to be faithful, is how it takes care of those with the least amount of resources. The community had a system called“ Jubilee “where everyone gets a fresh economic start . It is unreasonable to think we could do that today in our world . We live in a complex world, but we are always trying to find ways to take care of the people most at risk, because we want to be a good society. No one needs to be poor. Do they? What does it say about our wealth that, we have so many families who live below the poverty line?

What must we do?

Fred Redekop

 

 

Fred Redekop
Fred is a husband, brother, father, Opa, and a seeker of the Kingdom of heaven while living on this earth. He lives with his wife Shirley in Elmira.

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