He has filled the hungry with good things….
He has helped his servant Israel,… 
Luke 1:53-54

Some years ago we made a gift to Heifer International. We purchased a flock of chickens to be given to a family. The idea was that they would have eggs to eat, some to sell, and at some time meat for their table. When we made the gift we did so in the name of our neighbor and friend Irene. We then sent her a note saying that this gift had been made in her name. Irene was delighted. She told family and friends about the gift and expressed delight that others would be helped by the gift. This gift fueled her life and conversation for some months to follow.

I think part of the joy was that this was a gift that kept giving. It fueled her imagination to think that each day a child or a parent would gain nourishment. It provided a hopeful glimpse into the future for them. Irene felt that she was a partner in the future development and independence of a whole family. 

If we let this story sing its way into our thinking, it will evoke ideas about the coming of Jesus. In her song, the Magnificat, Mary sang that his birth would provide hope for the future for Israel and the world. She was told that he would fill the hungry with good things, lift the lowly to new heights, and remember his people. Jesus would be the source of a whole new life and a whole new way of looking at the world. 

Prayer: Father, help us to receive the gift of Jesus as an inspiration to receive in love and to share that love with others. 

Lewis Johnson

About the Contributor

Lewis Johnson is married to FPC member Janet Johnson. They live here and worship at First Presbyterian. Lewis is a retired Presbyterian minister.