Have you ever had one of those days when nothing seemed to work out? Have you ever had one of those years?
COVID-19 has made life difficult and unpredictable for most people in the world. All churches – including ours – have been trying to predict what the virus will do too. Churches, it turns out, are ideal spreading grounds: people gathering inside, for extended periods, vulnerable people, singing and preaching. It almost seems like God is asking us to be “the church” without meeting in our church building.
Can you conceive it? What are we if we can’t meet in our building? I imagine that the disciples felt something similar. In the Gospel reading from the Lectionary for today (Matthew 14:13-21), when faced with a hungry crowd, Jesus says to the disciples “You give them something to eat.” Can you imagine yourself there as a disciple? How do you respond?
I’m sure the disciples had no idea what Jesus meant. How can the few of them feed all these people? But they had forgotten who it was whom they were following.
As we read in last week’s lesson, we need to let the “yeast” of the Kingdom of God fill us and work it’s way deeply into us – like yeast through a whole batch of dough. Like the virus, but with very different results. The virus brings organ failure and death. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, goodness and self-control (Gal 5:22-23).
The economics of God are not the economics of man.
If we can step out, like the disciples did, and offer our Lord the meagre resources that we still have, our story teaches that Jesus can do the miracle. In our scripture passage, the massive crowd all ate and had enough. In the story of our Church and Ashmore, what can Jesus do if we place into HIS hands the things that he has entrusted to us?
Let us hear the invitation today: “You give them something to eat” and reflect on what God might be calling us to.
And may God, in his mercy, and in Jesus’ name, bless us all with his grace and peace.