Miracles and Compassion

Posted by on Aug 2, 2020 in Pastor's Blog | Comments Off on Miracles and Compassion

Dear Lord…as we consider your words to us this day, remind us of many ways we can help grow your kingdom through kindness and compassion. Thank you for your examples to us of helping people all through your life. We are so very thankful for the love you showed us when you gave yourself up for us on the cross….so that we always have your love, grace and forgiveness in our lives.The Gospel readings for today are from Matthew 14:13-21. This is a very familiar passage to all of us and I’m sure you are asking…OK…I know this passage. It seems very clear…what is new there?Well…I asked myself the same question when I found out what the reading would be. Then…I began studying and thinking even more about this lovely passage and some thoughts came through to me for sharing with each of you.First, it will help us to look at the passage preceding this passage. The preceding verses tell of the elegant meal that Herod had prepared. Herod was worried about what he heard about Jesus through John the Baptist. John was arrested and put in prison. During this birthday celebration for Herod, the daughter of Herodias was dancing and made Herod happy with her dancing. He asked what he could grant her as a gift and she replied (upon urging from her mother) that she wanted the head of John the Baptist on a platter. When the disciples heard this, they buried John’s body and told Jesus. That is the incident that begins our text consideration for today. Jesus was mourning the death of his friend, John, and needed to withdraw from people for awhile. In fact, he went to a boat and out to the northeast shore of the Sea of Galilee. He wanted and needed to be alone for awhile.However, while he was on the boat, he saw the crowd of people gathering on the shore. They, too, had heard of John’s death and followed Jesus and the disciples to this place. So, Jesus went ashore to meet with the people….and we read that he healed the sick and tended to the needs of those gathering.Please keep in mind that even though the writer states that there were 5,000 men, there were also women and children. With the size of this crowd, it could have equaled that of a town. That is how big this gathering was.It was also getting to be close to evening. People were not wanting to leave. The disciples were concerned about how they were going to eat. How were the people going to eat? There was no village close to this location. They were in the wilderness. The disciples wanted to “excuse” the crowd to allow them to go to the nearest village to get some food. I’m sure that the disciples also wanted to just have a quiet time themselves.Well, Jesus had other plans. He didn’t want the people to go away. He asked the disciples to feed the people. The disciples told him they had 5 loaves and 2 small fish. Jesus took those items…took the food, looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves and gave them back to the disciples. Does this remind you of our service of Holy Communion? This also reminded the people, some scholars have surmised, of the feedings of Moses, Elijah and Elisha…that they had heard about in the temples. The typical meal for them was to look up to God, bless the food, break the loaves and then eat. Yes..we all know that there was more than enough food for...

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August 2020


Pastor’s Blog