When those around Jesus, tried to stop a child getting close to the Master, Jesus stepped in, picked up the child gave them a hug and told his disciples: “whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name, welcomes me!” How we care for our children is of paramount importance; and a sign of a caring community. That’s why people from all walks of life are responding to Marcus Rashford’s campaign to ensure during holidays, half term and Christmas, adequate food is provided for the very poor in our society.
For churches, food is the sign of God’s love for all and a symbol of Christ’s presence among us. Jesus shared meals with all sorts of people and at his last supper, presented food – bread and wine – as a sign he ‘stands’ alongside us. Food poverty is unacceptable to Christians and that’s why church members work together with those of other faiths and of no faith, in food banks, ensuring those who have slipped through the net of social care and poor wages, can feed themselves and feed their children.
The book of Proverbs in the Bible says: “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.” We care for our children because they need the love and stability to give them a basis for life ahead. Not everyone can become a professional footballer but the lesson from Rashford’s childhood resonates and spurs him on to make sure no child goes hungry.
The young people of the United Reformed Church are urging members to write to their MPs and to support the campaign to end child poverty.