Psalm 89:1-18; Jer. 16: 10-21; Rom. 7: 1-12; John 6: 1-15
When was the last time you were in a crowd of people? I do not mean a crowd at the theater or at a symphony concert, or even church, because chances are they are folks like ourselves. I mean a real crowd, like the "miscellaneous" people one observes at a state fair, a ball stadium or even at a McDonald's.
When I read this passage about Jesus feeding the crowd of about 5000, I try to imagine that I am there. Perhaps I just saw a parade of people and followed along, wondering what was going on. The Man we are following stops every so often to tell us amazing stories. As we hike up the mountainside, I realize I'm getting out of breath, thirsty, hungry, and weary. I am sweating. The people around me smell; some are noisy and loudly complaining. My feet are aching; this trip was longer than I expected.
Then one of The Man's disciples tells us to rest on the grass. Like others, I had been caught up in the excitement and forgot to bring food. Except for that little boy over there….
I return to the present. I am a follower of The Man Jesus. I think about how every person in that crowd was blessed, fed and nourished. I know I am to do likewise. How can I be a blessing to someone this day of Lent? Not just to those close to me but those who may be "the miscellaneous" all around me...the people I may not even know. What are the worries and needs of the gardener who grooms the lawns of my condo? Does the woman who sold me the watch at the Saturday COD Fair know the God of real abundance?
Prayer: Loving Christ Jesus, give me the eyes to see those I have not seen before. Give me the heart to love them, and the courage to bless them in your name, Amen.
Ruth Gray retired as an Elder in the United Methodist Church 14 years ago and has been associated with St. Margaret's in the winter months since. She served as a Eucharistic minister during Father Certain's tenure.