by Georgie Schuster
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They all ate and were satisfied (Matthew 14:20a).
If there were two words to describe the Bible accounts for this week, they would be ‘God’s provision’. You could also insert any number of adjectives in the middle: miraculous, faithful, to name a couple. There are also a few common elements in these accounts: a person or people; a need (hunger); and God.
This theme of God’s provision is replayed time and again in the Bible, over the course of centuries. Today, as always, God’s provision is offered to us, for our open hearts and hands to receive.
Let’s start with this story that we have probably heard many times before. The feeding of the 5000.
Perhaps it begins as just an ordinary day, but then word gets out that Jesus was around. People join the crowd and follow the teacher, Jesus: eagerly hanging on to his every word … witnessing power and compassion mix together as people are healed … soaking in the presence of someone out of the ordinary.
And then it gets late. Jesus’ care and concern for those who had sought nourishment for their souls extends to their physical needs, too. One boy’s lunch is offered. Thousands are fed – with twelve baskets left over! (Do you ever wonder who benefited from those leftovers?)
God, who created us – body, mind and spirit – knows our need on every level, our hunger for food and for truth. Here we see our compassionate God, meeting those needs for all to see and to experience for themselves.
What morsel from this encounter with Jesus will sustain you today?
Dear God, our Loving Creator, you know our every need. You know our hunger. Please feed us now. We give you thanks. In Jesus’ name, Amen.