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The Rev. Benjamin Pratt The Rev. Benjamin Pratt
Dr. Pratt is a retired United Methodist pastor and pastoral counselor. He was the founding pastor of a congregation that remains, after 48 years, one of the most racially integrated of the Virginia Annual Conference. Then, for thirty years he was a pastoral counselor on Capitol Hill and in the City of Fairfax.

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Bread and Hunger Games

June 26, 2012






The following is for personal or small group reflection, posing moral questions for our searching souls. I suggest it be read aloud, slowly, while standing, with Albinoni's Adagio in G Minor accompanying the reading. I recommend small group members read, prior to discussion, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway. For a fuller understanding of Vedran Smajlovic, the cellist of Sarajevo, go to:   The music can be found at







Give us this day our daily Bread!

...the staff of life

...a basic necessity in the streets, dough

...the bread-winner

...the most ordinary, the most elegant

...the host

...the body

...a gift of friendship

...companion-com panis

...a gift of bread and salt for a guest

...a gift of hope for the hungry

...Lord, it is you queued at the breadline

Give us this day our daily Bread!



...bread and circuses

...panem et circensis those principalities and powers that distract the masses with bread and circuses so as to not call attention to their own nefarious refusal to feed those in need those who lie on beds of ivory and eat lambs from the flock

and calves from the stall

and anoint themselves with the fine oils

but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph

Open our eyes... those who must fight daily to put bread in their mouths those who kill for bread those dehumanized by hunger games as they seek bread for themselves, their children, their parents

Give us this day our daily bread!"



At 4 o'clock, May 27th, 1992,

During the Siege of Sarajevo, mortar shells struck citizens

waiting in a bread line, hoping to feed themselves, their children,

their parents-a bread line...

Twenty-two people were killed-seventy were wounded, in a bread line.

For the next twenty-two days Vedran Smailovic, cellist,

sat on a straight-backed chair, at 4 o'clock

in the crater carved by the shells that had killed twenty-two people

in a bread line.

Each day he played Albinoni's Adagio in G Minor

to honor

twenty-two persons killed in a bread line.

Give us this day our daily Bread, our daily Music of Hope!!




...remember, with certainty, that no one can tell us who to hate

...remember, in the midst of horrible atrocities each of us holds the capacity for

 goodness and beauty

...remember to celebrate the music of mourning and hope to prevent the world being reduced to dehumanized hunger games

...remember to look for the dandelion and live into hope

...remember to make the small acts that give the gift of life,

love, hope and beauty to ourselves and others

...remember, hunger permits no choice

...remember we must love each other or die

Give us this day our daily bread!


Benjamin Pratt


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