Sue Clemmer Steiner
Sue Clemmer Steiner is a spiritual director and retired Mennonite pastor in Waterloo, Ontario.
Years ago, at a denominational gathering, I heard a visitor from the global South say the following about North American Christians: They have so many things. They don’t need anything. Yet it seemed like the people were very thirsty, like they were in a desert and we were bringing them drops of water. These words refuse to leave me.
The people are hungry. The disciples imagine an improbable solution: send them to buy food. Yet Jesus' startling response—"You give them something to eat!"—seems more improbable. As usual, he's embodying a different script.
I was startled earlier this year when news anchor Peter Mansbridge called someone a Good Samaritan on The National, the flagship nightly newscast of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. I was surprised that in our secularized, multifaith society, newswriters assumed that listeners would understand an allusion from the Bible. On second thought, I was less surprised.