As requested (by me), here’s what Iona said this morning.

You can get her commentary too over here:

UPDATE: Iona’s sermon has also been listed on My Faith My Life

Let us pray. Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and don’t lean on
your own understanding. In all things acknowledge him, and he shall
direct your way. Amen.

As many of you know, this weekend the members of the STAR and
J2A classes gave up their Friday and Saturday to fast for a program
called World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine. The motto? Be seen, be heard, be
hungry. We were sponsored to spend 30 hours without food, raising money
to combat world hunger and, in the process, understand a little more of
what hunger really is.

How many of us know what it feels like to be truly hungry? I
know I don’t. In fact, when Ms. Sewell asked me to give a sermon on
world hunger, my first thought was, what am I going to say? How can I
talk about something I can’t imagine?

I wasn’t alone. When I went to school Friday and told my
friends why I wasn’t eating, they all asked the same questions. Why are
you doing this? Why don’t you just eat, and find another way to get the
people money?

I don’t know why everyone else who participated decided to fast, but by the end of the 30 hours I knew why I did.

It’s a reminder. It’s a reminder that there are people out
there who have no food, that there are people who struggle daily just
to stay alive. 29,000 children die every day from preventable diseases,
one of which is malnutrition. 29,000. That’s about three quarters of
Southington’s population. Every day. These are kids just like the ones
we have in this church, living, breathing human beings who aren’t going
to get a chance at life simply because they don’t have food.

It’s a wake-up call. When I started the 30 hours, I expected
to be hungry. I mean, it is called the 30 hour famine. But what I
didn’t expect was the strong desire, before I was hungry, to eat. I
wanted food. And that led me to thinking. How often do I eat when I
don’t need to, or even eat so much that I feel sick? People often take
food for granted, especially children and teenagers who don’t have to
provide for themselves yet. The 30 hour famine made me realize what a
mistake that is, how much of a gift the energy and comfort of three
meals a day really is.

Finally, it’s a motivation to act. We are so lucky to be here
together, comfortable, full of food and warm under a roof, that often
we forget about those less fortunate than ourselves. We are all
children of God, no matter our age or where we live, and it is our
responsibility to take care of our brothers and sisters. We have one
life, one shot to leave this world a little better than it was when we
came into it. Have compassion. Think of the times in your own life when
all you needed was someone to help you make it through. Be someone
else’s hero.

“Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or
ignored, that was me—you did it to me.” If that’s not as easy as the
Bible gets, then I must be reading it wrong. It seems like pretty clear
instructions to me. We have the resources and the ability to help
change lives, save lives. All we need now is the willpower.

Maybe it’s starting small, like helping the new kid who needs
someone to sit with on the bus or the woman who could use a hand with
her groceries. Maybe it’s donating your old coats to help someone stay
warm this winter. Maybe it’s fasting for 30 hours to try and help even
one child get food.

It’s not always easy. Sometimes it’s the frustration of giving
up something we have grown accustomed to. Sometimes it’s the fear of
stepping out of our comfort zones. Whatever the obstacle, the results
will be worth it. I’m only fifteen, but I’ve seen enough people help
others to know. The glow on their faces when they see they’ve made a
difference speaks more than words. Goodness rewards itself.

I believe in this church. It’s a strong community that’s
bringing up a generation of kids willing to donate their Fridays and
Saturdays to helping people they’ve never met. That’s something
special. So the next time you have to choose between what is right and
what is easy, have courage and take the extra step. Donate to a soup
kitchen, volunteer to rebuild a broken home, work without looking for a
reward. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to do something good. We
can change the world, little bit by little bit. It starts right here.


What a great kid!

:: Justin ::