The story of the feeding of the 5000 is a powerful story – powerful enough to be told in all four Gospels – and told twice in Mark. In the John 6 account, a large crowd follows Jesus, and now they are hungry. Jesus’ disciples can only see scarcity. Even when a young boy comes forward with five loaves of bread and two fish, the disciples are stuck on what’s lacking. Jesus, however, sees the abundance in the boy’s offering. He takes the loaves, gives thanks, distributes them to the crowd, and then the disciples gather up 12 baskets of leftovers!
Throughout my ministry I have frequently reminded people (and myself) that we are an Easter people. If we believe in the resurrection, we are never stuck with what is lacking. We are promised a new start, a new day full of the life that Jesus promises. Pay attention to this shift from scarcity to abundance. This comes from God’s love present in Jesus.
This message is excerpted from “Turn it around” by Karen G. Bockelman in the January/February 2019 Gather magazine. Today is the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost.
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