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Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Today’s Reading | Mark 8:1–10
In those days when there was again a great crowd without anything to eat, he called his disciples and said to them, “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way—and some of them have come from a great distance.” His disciples replied, “How can one feed these people with bread here in the desert?” He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.” Then he ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground; and he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them to the crowd. They had also a few small fish; and after blessing them, he ordered that these too should be distributed. They ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. Now there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away. And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha. (NRSV)
For the longest time growing up—and occasionally still today—I struggled with feeling bad when people went out of their way to help me. To ask someone to do a favor for me was really hard. Looking back, it was silly to think that way, yet I always did. I never wanted to feel like a burden. I would do the work myself and, as a result, there was no need to ask for help.
One of God’s greatest gifts is service, where we are able to experience God’s grace through acts of love and kindness. So whenever I chose to do things by myself, I was letting those wonderful experiences pass me by.
In today’s reading, God recognizes the loyalty and kindness these people are showing. God sees the struggle of his followers being without food for three days and knows that he must provide for them. This story paints such a clear picture of how God must feel whenever we go out of our way to follow him. Jesus did not ask those people to come and be with him for that long, he did not ask that favor, yet they followed and waited and their reward came in full.
Lord, I pray that you always help me open myself up to the help of others, so that I may see just how vast and amazing your love is. Amen.
Written by Ashley Elskus, Special Events and Membership Coordinator, Center for Life and Learning
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