From Lament to Acts of Justice for Daily Bread
“Give Us Today Our Daily Bread” is the theme of the Eleventh Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). This petition reverberates not only our prayer, hope and sadness, but also our collective lament.
As Christians we believe that God’s creation is meant for all so that all may have life in its fullness. This abundance begins with life-sustaining daily bread. However, every time we say the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11), we are reminded of the deep gulf between our petition and the realities that deprive millions across the world of a nourishing meal each day. They struggle with endemic poverty, starvation, landlessness and lack of access to the bounty of creation.
While our theological deliberations include deep ethical dimensions, we are also faced with spiritual and moral challenges. Undoubtedly, the myriad diaconal initiatives that include response to climate change and care for creation are an expression of our spirituality. However, the manifestation of flourishing greed that endangers humanity and the earth also signifies the erosion of our spirituality. As a communion of churches, do we have the courage to turn Jesus’ prayer into acts of justice that challenge powers bent on creating profit-oriented systems for the short-term gain of a few?
In July 2010 the LWF gathers for its next Assembly in Stuttgart, Germany, hosted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Württemberg and the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany (VELKD). This is an opportunity for representatives from every LWF member church to recognize significant life-giving and hope-restoring moments in our journey together as a communion. As the top legislative and policy-making body of the Federation, the Assembly will also provide general direction for the future work coordinated by the Geneva-based communion office.
- © LWF/H. Putsman Penet
As we prepare for this milestone event of the Lutheran communion, let us turn Jesus’ prayer from a lament into a hopeful declaration for justice in solidarity with the most vulnerable in our communities.
Rev. Dr Ishmael Noko
LWF General Secretary