Daily Worship

Bare cupboards and empty bellies

Fiona Reynolds April 14, 2024 4 2
Image credit: Unsplash
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John 21: 1-3 (NRSVA)

1 After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. 2 Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. 3 Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’ They said to him, ‘We will go with you.’ They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

People have been hungry throughout Scottish history, but in 2024 it does feel as though this indignity is a reality for ever-growing numbers. Some struggle all the time to put food on the table. Others know when it is nearly payday because the fridge is empty. It is scandal that indicates increasing inequality in our society. As one pre-meal grace suggests, we should seek lasting justice as well as giving food to those who need.

However, hunger does not come with a rumbling tummy alone. There is a pervasive assumption in our society that those who are hungry are lazy. Not true. Any Foodbank/Pantry volunteer will tell you that a heart-breakingly high percentage of their customers are in work. They are not only working for insufficient money, but they also spend their ‘free’ time searching for cheaper food and cooking in ways to make the little they have go further.

Do not let the briefness of John 21:3 fool you. Hours of toil would have gone into those empty nets. In all walks of life, the results do not always reflect expended effort. And it is in those moments that we need compassionate community and a desire for something better.




Unbounded compassion,

may we have the courage to ask for what we need,

the grace to offer what we have,

and the wisdom to encounter you every time,