is the only miracle story to appear in all 4 Gospels. It is the one
story almost everyone knows outside of the birth story and the
crucifixion. It is the feeding of the five thousand. So, what's the
big deal? Why all the repeat this particular story so many times?
Well, I think there is a simple reason for that. In this story we
find the richness and depth of who Jesus is. We see the compassion,
the power, the love. We find a powerful metaphor for Holy Communion.
And all these things are punctuated with one, powerful
image...abundance. Jesus simply does not run out of things. Jesus
does not run out of love or compassion or power. Jesus has them in
abundance and in this story they become immediately evident.
And none are more important to us in this troubled era than the
abundance of Christ's compassion. All of us have problems that we
carry with us; burdens under which we suffer. Some are great and
some are relatively minor but we all carry them. What this story
teaches us is that Jesus doesn't just have a little compassion for
us. He doesn't look at our troubles and say, "well, I feel for you
man, but there is nothing I can do." No, he says I will help you. As
he looks out over the tired masses that have followed him all day he
feels compassion for them and he simply overwhelms them with food,
offering more than they can eat. It is a powerful gesture of his
compassion. As we spend our lives following Jesus we will all have
moments like this; when we are simply overwhelmed with his
compassion for us. When we feel not only that our troubles are
shared with him but that he has done more than we could ever have
asked him to do for us. In those extra loaves that the disciples
gathered at the end of the day we find the surplus of Christ's love
and compassion. It is enough for us!
Prayer: Holy God, I come to you this day with an empty stomach. I
am spiritually starving and I need your nourishment. Please feed me
as you fed those people, my brothers and sisters, so long ago. I
pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
[text from file received by Phil Blackburn, First Presbyterian