Understanding the Loaves and Fish

Feeding 5000Mark 6:34-44

Jesus and the twelve set out in the boat to get away for a while, but when they reached the shore the crowds were waiting for them. Jesus was in high demand; there were crowds at every turn. Instead, their desolate place was busy, noisy and chaotic. By the day’s end, the large crowd numbered in the thousands, the disciples were tiring and the crowd was hungry. They pleaded with Jesus to send the people away. Imagine their response when Jesus said, “You give them something to eat.” Quickly, the disciples took inventory and found only a few loaves and fish. Surely this wasn’t enough to do the job. What followed was perhaps Jesus’ greatest miracle.

The church today is also filled with weary disciples, yet Jesus’ command to feed the hungry still stands. Responding to the call, congregations do as the twelve; they quickly take inventory. When the accounting is done, we often come up with the same conclusion; we don’t have enough. Our few loaves and fish can’t possibly do all the work Jesus calls us to do; especially when we have needs of our own.

Understanding Jesus’ miracle is paramount to the ministry of the church. Left on our own, we will always come up short. Yet, God provides all that is necessary to do his will. When we follow the instruction of our Lord and teacher, we are able to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless and reach out to the lost and lonely. All the while the amount left over will be nothing short of amazing.

Help us. O God, to realize the abundance of your blessing, that we might share these gifts with others. Amen.

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