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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Today’s Reading | Matthew 15:29–39 

After Jesus had left that place, he passed along the Sea of Galilee, and he went up the mountain, where he sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others. They put them at his feet, and he cured them, so that the crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.” The disciples said to him, “Where are we to get enough bread in the desert to feed so great a crowd?” Jesus asked them, “How many loaves have you?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” Then ordering the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all of them ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. Those who had eaten were four thousand men, besides women and children. After sending away the crowds, he got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan. (NRSV)

It’s incredible to think about what the scene would have been at both of these miracles: enormous crowds of people, all needing help of some sort. I imagine that things were pretty chaotic and probably overwhelming for many. Jesus was compassionate towards everyone and knew exactly what they needed, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
The feeding of the 4,000 really speaks to me. The disciples seem so perplexed by this situation. “Where are we to get enough bread in the desert to feed so great a crowd?” I find this to be a little funny, given that Jesus had performed a similar miracle previously when he fed the 5,000. The disciples acted as if they hadn’t even witnessed that! They somehow missed the point. Jesus was able to fully provide all of their needs, regardless of the circumstances.

How often do we miss the point and not realize what God is doing in our lives? How often do we worry over something and not pray about it? How often do we pray about something, begging for a response, and not notice that God’s answer is right in front of us? I know that this is true for me. It seems that I usually realize after the fact that God was working in my life. It is important to remember that God has taken care of us in the past, and God will continue to care for us day in and day out, in all circumstances.

Gracious and loving God, open my heart and my eyes so that I may be aware of your presence. Allow me to see how you are working in my day-to-day life. Help me to trust that you know all of my needs and that you will always fully provide for me. Amen.

Written by Briana Belding-Peck, Family Ministry Coordinator

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