Sunday, July 31, 2005

I was the preacher at church today - Verona United Methodist - and my message was about the "miracle" of the five loaves and two fishes. I've always thought it was poor planning not to have food for 5000 men, not to mention women and children. So when I looked at the scripture that included this (Matthew 14:13-21 - taken out of context, as most everything is...), I realized that most of the miracle wasn't the loaves and fishes but the changing of the men in the crowd. Think about it - the people in the crowds were from a distance, since the place is described as "lonely" (RSV), "deserted"(NIRSV) and "desert"(KJV). The people had to have walked, or come by donkey cart at an average of 4-5 miles per hour. I'd bet that it took at least an hour to get to the waterfront (Jesus had left a previous crowd and gone off in a boat so that he could have some time alone to grieve over the loss of his cousin John the Baptist - verse 13 says " when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns." ) where Jesus went ashore. How many of us would go out to a deserted place where we knew we were going to be for a few hours at least - and another hour or so on foot to get home- without any provisions? Especially when some were women and children! Who leaves the house with a couple of kids nowadays without taking a bag of Cheerios or some fruit or something for the kid to eat? Because as soon as you're away from anyplace that has food or drink, the kid is going to say "Ma, I'm hungry!" over and over again. So I figure that the women of the crowd had some food packed for the outing and when the baskets were passed with the 5 broken and blessed loaves and the 2 fish came by, men may have said, "Well, there's not much here, let's put in a little of what we brought and pass it on." The next man, having seen what the first man did, might think the same thing. The next might take a little and think there wasn't enough diversity and add a little something from their basket. And so on and so on, until at the end of the crowd, there were the twelve disciples' baskets all full up, because the last guy in the crowd didn't want them to go hungry. The miracle was not the replication of the bread, but the fact that everyone was moved to share what they had.
And that, my dears, is probably the origin of church coffee hours.

1 comment:

  1. Vous avez un blog très agréable et je l'aime, je vais placer un lien de retour à lui dans un de mon blogs qui égale votre contenu. Il peut prendre quelques jours mais je ferai besure pour poster un nouveau commentaire avec le lien arrière.

    Merci pour est un bon blogger.


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