In 1985, Hollywood and the music industry came together for one, magical moment. No, it wasn’t the Academy Awards or the Grammy’s. Rather, it was a collaboration on a song, a single song, We Are the World . Even though it’s been 27 years since the song debuted, I still remember hearing it over, and over, and over, and over again on every radio station we could get.
On top of the radio airplay, there was a music video (you can check out the music video here) and countless interviews with the stars that performed or produced the song. There were A-listers Michael Jackson and Quincey Jones; Ray Charles and Bruce Springstein; Tina Turner and Billy Joel. OK, I realize that most of these are no longer in their prime, or considered A-listers today. But, back in the 1980’s, these were the cream of the crop. The cast of musicians and vocalists was amazing. I have to admit, it makes me a bit nostalgic just thinking about it.
To make it even more amazing, none of them made a dime off the song. All of the proceeds from the song went to help feed famine and earthquake victims in Africa. According to Wikipedia, the song has generated over $63 million for humanitarian causes since its release. That’s pretty staggering to think about. One recording, one day of music, generated tens of millions in support of others.
But, let’s put this into perspective. There was another event that happened thousands of years ago that saved millions of lives – worldwide, not just in Africa. Here’s how my friend John puts it:
16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” ~ John 3:16 (NLT)
One day, one single moment in time, and everyone was given the gift of salvation. It was spectacular. It was the A-lister of A-listers laying down his life so that others may live.
But, here’s the crazy thing – When the aid to Africa arrived, the people there tore into the bags of food and snatched up the clothing. They were dancing for joy and praising the charity that had provided the supplies. But, these supplies, these gifts from the other side of the world pale in comparison to the gift of salvation won for us all at the cross. Don’t get me wrong, charitable work is admirable, and what this song did was awesome; but it only lasts for a short while – a lifetime at the most. The salvation that Jesus gives to us is eternal. Additionally, he provides constant nourishment for us.
35 Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” ~ John 6:35
Here’s the point: Why aren’t we jumping up and down and praising Jesus for the work he has done, and is doing, on our behalf? Why don’t we celebrate it? Are we desensitized to it because it happened so long ago? Or, do we just not believe the aid is for us? Why have some decided not to open the packages of spiritual food and water, even though they are starving spiritually? It’s really impossible to answer these questions in a blanket statement, as our reasons are all personal and unique.
But, if you’ve accepted the aid that Jesus gives, take some time today, and everyday, just to give thanks to that A-lister, Jesus Christ, who feeds you daily. Celebrate that you will never thirst or go hungry again because he provides. And, as the Spirit moves, share the bread and water with others, so that they too will be nourished. Show them how to open the gift of salvation. Show them were to find the living water, and the bread of life.