Tonight, to kick off the “Do the Math” challenge, or poverty diet, we held an event called “How Would Jesus Clean Up the Downtown”. It was meant as a time of discussion around how the Church in Peterborough can regain its prophetic voice on behalf of, and with the poor in our city. It was a powerful night! 50 people came from all different churches. There were Anglican’s, Pentecostals, Free Methodist, Christian Reform, United, House Church members, and more. A friend of mine Tamara Mann came and talked about what it is like living with mental illness in our city, and what “Good News” would be for her. A sermon was preached by a dashingly handsome young man (Ok, it was me). Also we had a time to discuss. To talk about what our churches need to do to regain our prophetic voice. Two of the candidates in our upcoming municipal election, Dean Pappas and Tim Rowat, joined us for the evening and listened carefully. All in all I came home very tired but also renewed. Something is happening in our city! Maybe the Church is rediscovering her call to minister and join those who are cast aside by our society.
On the other hand I have been eating fresh food and homemade soup like crazy this evening, because I know that I will be eating mostly canned food in the next couple of days as I do this poverty diet. My wife and I decided that she wouldn’t do it because she is breast feeding. We also decided that my 3 year old daughter would not partake in the diet because we don’t want her eating all this processed food. All this helped me realize that all I can get in this process is a glimpse of what it will be like. Many don’t have that choice. I can choose if my daughter can eat this or not. I can go back to eating whatever I want in three days. I have the choice to binge and eat all the fresh fruit I have before I start this diet. Most people living on these hampers do not have these choices. I pray that God uses this glimpse to push me farther and farther into working to build his kingdom of justice in my community. Amen.