Come, Lord Jesus

Bishop Kirby Unti

NW Washington Synod / ELCA

From the October 2018 edition of The Spirit

The Unti family continues to meet at least once a week for a family meal.  It is the rare occasion when we are not all in attendance. The meal always begins with the prayer, “Come, Lord Jesus.” We know not to move a fork until the prayer has been shared.  I must confess that we do not always do the prayer with the reverence that it deserves but we always do the prayer.

It would be so easy, and maybe even more pleasant, if we suspended this practice – but the truth is it is nonnegotiable.   Not because of guilt or shame.  Not because of our personal piety.  The prayer is essential because it helps us as a family to know our rightful place in the world.  We are, as Luther might say, beggars.  We are dependent upon God.  God is the provider.  We are grateful receivers.

Many of you know that Kim finds great delight in preparing meals.  It is not only about the culinary challenge – it is about the gift that comes in gathering people around the meal.  Kim knows how to turn a meal into an entire evening.

Kim is also the first to sign up to provide meals for others whether it is a friend recovering from surgery or helping at any one of several feeding programs.  We often prepare and serve these meals as a family.

Our household has been shaped by meals because we have been shaped by the Biblical narrative.

Meals play such a critical role in the story of God’s people whether it is the cry for manna in the wilderness or breaking bread at home with Zacchaeus.  Not to mention how central the meals of Passover and The Eucharist are.  Meals are how God is known, faith is formed, forgiveness is experienced and remembrance of what matters most happens.

Meals are also what the ELCA is about.  We not only gather often as the people of God around meal but we believe deep in our bones the importance of seeing that all people have access to the means of providing and receiving meal.  We call this expression of the ELCA – WORLD HUNGER.

“Working with and through our congregations in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Lutheran churches overseas, and other partners, ELCA World Hunger is uniquely positioned to reach communities in need. From health clinics to microloans, water wells to animal husbandry, community meals to advocacy, your gifts to ELCA World Hunger make it possible for the ELCA to respond, supporting sustainable solutions that get at the root causes of hunger and poverty.” (ELCA Website: ELCA Website:

Our Synod Hunger Team is ready for some new members to lead us in our local efforts. If you are interested in helping to shape this group, please contact the synod office.  Additionally, on the flipside of this edition of The Spirit, you will find hunger facts and resources.