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Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Today’s Reading | Mark 6:30–46
The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. When it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late; send them away so that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy something for themselves to eat.” But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?” And he said to them, “How many loaves have you? Go and see.” When they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. And all ate and were filled; and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.
Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After saying farewell to them, he went up on the mountain to pray. (NRSV)
This is the only miracle that was recorded in all four Gospels. This is an important story that can be interpreted in a multitude of ways. Viewed from the perspective of the impact that an individual can have, this story can take on a new spin.
While I was home visiting my family over Christmas, I had an interesting conversation about hope. The conversation shifted, and we got on the topic of just how much impact can one person have in the world. I, being the younger and more hopelessly optimistic one in the conversation, couldn’t accept the reality that one person can’t make an impact in today’s society, especially when grouped together with similarly likeminded people.
I believe this passage from Mark proves my point. The disciples didn’t think that they would be able to feed the crowds. And, quite honestly, individually they wouldn’t have been able to feed the crowds. Though we think that our gifts or what we have to bring to the table isn’t enough, in Jesus it is. One person can make a difference when he or she accepts that it’s not necessary to do it alone. If we believe, our meager offerings can be taken and multiplied to the benefit of others.
Holy God, I ask that you help me on this journey. Help me to understand what my gifts are and what I bring to the table. Help me pool my loaves and fishes together so that, through you, I can do amazing and powerful things in this world. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Written by Sarah Bennett, Director of Junior High Ministry
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