Filled With Good Things: A Devotion from LWR

Mr. Peter Manyambu irrigates his field with water drawn from a solar-powered well as part of LWR’s WATER (Watershed Approach to Enhance Resilience) program in Eastern Kenya. Photo by Jake Lyell.

This reflection was written in 2012 by Chandler Carriker

“…he has filled the hungry with good things…”

For the fourth week of advent I heard my pastor read this from Mary’s song in Luke 1. Right away I thought of the far-too-many good things that had filled my belly at a Christmas party the night before. And then I thought of the Krispy Kreme donuts I had just picked up with my son on the way to worship (a Sunday tradition). There are far too many good things filling me up at this time, and as soon as the New Year hit I’m going to start working those good things off.

“…and he has sent the rich away empty…”

And then I heard those words and was reminded that maybe it isn’t all about me. I’m reminded that — as much as the gift of Jesus means to me, as much as God made human, who came to live and die for me a poor sinner — that gift should also mean something very particular for those around the world who literally hunger for good things to fill their stomachs.

My thoughts turned to Sevu and his family in Kenya. Just three years ago, Sevu and his family were barely surviving as subsistence farmers in Kenya. A drought swept across the Horn of Africa in 2009. But now — thanks to the faithful stewardship of U.S. Lutherans — we can see the good things that fill his family’s life. Not only food, but education and hope for a brighter future.

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There are so many stories like Sevu’s around the world, and (I’m sure) in the life of your local congregation. Stories that show how this holy gift of Jesus — a free gift that comes to us with “mercy” and “strength” — frees us to join in Mary’s song and work to fill the lives of the hungry with good things.

In this season of anticipation of the coming Christ, let us all be reminded that the grace of God’s gift to us frees us to respond to our neighbor in need, near and far, and in doing so sing along with Mary, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!”