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Friday, March 1, 2013
Today’s Reading | John 6:1–14
After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.” (NRSV)
The miracle of the loaves and fishes is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospels and for me is a story about trusting in God’s abundance and about faith in miracles.
The large crowd that followed Jesus already had some evidence that he was special and could do extraordinary things. Did any of the 5,000 assembled bring snacks for the outing, or were they so eager to follow Jesus that they arrived unprepared? As a Girl Scout who gets hungry quickly, I always come prepared with snacks. Could I have relied on God and my community to lead me to my next source of food?
Our faith community and others provide meals to share God’s gifts with those in need. In this story, Jesus provides plentiful food for many from very little (barley loaves were food of the poor). I’m reminded that my challenges are too big to solve alone. Even when I am fearful that my needs won’t be met, God’s help is always there for me. My part is to rely on the love and support of God and others and to trust that God will find a way just as Jesus did here.
God is my power source. I don’t need to understand where the power comes from or how the miracles are made. I just need to plug into my power source and witness the light turning on in my life and shining out into the world.
God, I am grateful for your abundance, your miracles (big and small) and especially for the gift of your Son, Jesus. Remind me to trust that Jesus’ prayer “Give us this day our daily bread” is a promise of your blessings if I will only ask. Amen.
Written by Robin Moncrieff, member of Fourth Presbyterian Church
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