Finding Famine in the Resurrection



Travis Hill

This year I have pondered if it is through wondrous chance, divinely inspired, or pure genius that the National Famine Dates bookend either side of the Lenten season. As we finished off our Famine Event back in February, the following Wednesday was Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. What a great, tangible experience of sacrificing something so crucial and fundamental as food for 30 hours to initiate the conversation of the spiritual discipline of fasting. It was an easy transition, one that I continue to hearken back to with the students as we continue through this season.

But it doesn’t end there. If it did, this story, these lives that we lead, would be vastly different. If we leave Jesus in the tomb, our hope is unfounded. So I find it fitting that the week after Easter is the next National Famine Date.

Following up the first Famine Date, one could focus on the fast. Gearing up for the Lenten season, one could spend time with the margins in somber solidarity, passing a mere 30 hours without food, a fraction of our lives, what many people have to deal with daily. But the National Dates after Easter, that’s a different story! It’s the celebration, the joy, the faithfulness of what Christ came down to do and what he’s continuing to do in our lives.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…” (1 Peter 1:3)

Sometimes we forget to celebrate. We forget to let the joy happen. Our God is a God of joy and love and resurrection! He is a God that helps us let go of our pain and hurt and celebrates the miracle of resurrection daily in our lives.

So as we enter into the next Famine National Date, let us remember the lifestyle rooted in a resurrected Lord that we are called to lead. We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world who go to bed hungry each night, but let’s empower the students to know, feel, and understand that it doesn’t stop there. If the Easter story ended with a sealed tomb, things would be different. If we leave the students with the sense that there is an incredibly huge, seemingly unsolvable problem, then we have left out the most important part of the story, the celebration, the charge to go forth and share the news and the love.