Advent day 20: I’m hungry

And Mary sang:  “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
      for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.  
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed, 
   for the Mighty One has done great things for me and holy is his name.  
His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.  
He has shown strength with his arm; 
      he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones and lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.”  Luke 1:46-53.


For my birthday last summer my husband gave me a clear plastic bird feeder that attaches with suction cups to the window.  I filled it with sunflower seeds and waited…and waited.  Days dragged into weeks and weeks dragged into months.  One day my husband reported that he had seen a cardinal at the feeder.  A couple of weeks later I saw a cardinal too.  A few weeks later it started—a crowd of feathered creatures sometimes waiting their turn in the butterfly bush, sometimes diving into the feeder with a flutter and annoying  another out.  Titmouse, chickadee, goldfinch, house finch, wren had found a good place to eat.
Sometimes good food simply isn’t available to us.  And so we have food pantries and soup kitchens.  We teach creative farming methods in countries where many are hungry.  We care for depleted soil.   We literally follow Christ’s call to feed those who are hungry, trusting that one day there will be enough for everyone.  
Other times, however, our stomachs are full but our souls are malnourished.  It can take a long time to learn where the good soul food is to eat.  It’s hard to believe that what our hearts really need is God’s very self.  God?  That’s gotta be boring we think for the longest time.  We don’t notice how God’s forgiveness and healing is food for everyday.  We doubt we need to hear God’s word in the morning.  There is always somewhere to be and something to do.  It takes a long time to realize that the entertainment and busyness we think will bring satisfaction and success does not in the end feed our souls. 
I’m not sure what in the end led the birds to the inconspicuous feeder, but at some point they began to communicate the good news to one another.  Nor is it always clear what brings us to the realization that our souls are hungry for God.  A friend’s words? God’s grace?  the Holy Spirit?  Good news?  However it happens, people begin to gather in groups around word and communion to love God and love neighbor, and we discover this to be as necessary as bread.  It is what gives us life.
God has filled the hungry with good things, sings Mary, and sent the rich away empty.