Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Scripture Imagination take 2


After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias.  A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick.  Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. 4 Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near.  When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?”  He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do.  Philip answered him, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.”  One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him,  “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all.  Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.  When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.”  So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets.  When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.”

It was an audacious ask...Jesus might as well asked me to fly to the moon or walk while chewing gum (because I would totally trip over my own two left feet).  Feed everyone...can you imagine?  Why is it my responsibility?  Why didn't they bring their own food?  I brought something for myself.  Aren't we taught to be self-reliant and self-actualize...or maybe that will come later in the world.  Ask me to help out so many because most times I can barely help myself.  Six months...wouldn't even give me enough more for everyone to get the smallest unsatisfying morsel.  Six months working my fingers to the bones...blood...sweat...tears and not enough.  Not enough.  I think that a lot sometimes.  Not enough when I try to pray.  Not enough when I talk to my family.  Not enough when I try to help my neighbor.  Not enough are two words that rumble around my mind and roam around my heart.  I know not enough...we've met many times before ~ we are on a first name basis.  So why ask?  Why ask me?  Why do I feel like Jesus is still asking me today to watch out for the least, to care for the lonely, to love the unseen and left behind.  Yet...even as that request longs to be expressed in my life...I still have that nagging and annoying feeling of not enough.  So, exasperated and a bit exhausted...thinking I might have even someone off on the sidelines watching my every move...I simply shrugged my shoulders.  And while I was so excited by a boy with a small bagged lunch...what was that meager amount among so many?  What is a few loaves of bread that would barely feed five let alone five thousand!  Ever initially been excited only to have reality burst your bubble?  Sure...I would love a free lunch only to sit through an hour long sales pitch for a time share.  Sure....I would to test drive a car and be pressured into buying it now...because the sale is almost over.  When reality settles hard like the rain on the day we wanted to go out for a picnic.  Because that is what that moment became.   A sudden picnic.  A moment that became more than a trace of God's grace.  Sacred serendipity.  When have those two words paid a visit in your life this last week or last month?  Sacred serendipity.  When have your prayed and craved for those two words to visit but it felt like they were on vacation.  Sacred serendipity...may not always come in the form of a cure or miracle...sometimes its just a little bread when you are hungry and don't know where lunch is coming from.

I pray the sacred serendipitous grace of God leaves more than a trace in your life this week.

Grace and peace ~~

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