Sermon: They didn’t bring snacks??
- Friday of Proper 26, Year One, Daily Office
- Matthew 14:13-21
- Ezra 7:27-28, 8:21-36
- Psalm 69
Morning Prayer, November 8, 2020
St. Luke’s Chapel, Berkeley Divinity School
Why didn’t the people bring food? Why weren’t they prepared? If you’ve ever driven a long distance in my car, you know that it’s well supplied with snacks. I’m always prepared to chase Jesus into the Galilean wilderness for a couple days. How could 5k men, plus women and children, be so unprepared?
But, in the context of our Ezra reading today, maybe they were without food on purpose. Maybe they thought that deliverance by the Lord required fasting and sacrifices. That was what worked the last time God was speaking to the people of Israel, so it should work this time, right? Let’s be zealous in our fasting and pilgrimage, following the new prophet out into the wilderness so much that he has to get onto a boat to not be overcome by the crowds.
But Jesus, at least this time, doesn’t sail off to the other side of the sea. He sees the people and heals the ones who are sick. He sees that they are hungry. And he feeds them. It’s a simple meal. Bread and fish. But there is plenty for the 5000 men and who knows how many women and children. Jesus doesn’t want them to be hungry. He doesn’t require fasting. Jesus provides abundantly.
I’m not saying we should never fast and become hedonists on Jesus’s miracle credit card. But maybe we should look for the blessings of plenty in our lives. The Halloween candy and Popeyes sandwiches and Bonfire Night s’mores. And also the friendships and community that are so much a part of our lives here. Our lives our tied together by the food and friendship we share, and also by the sacramental communion that Jesus invites us into. Jesus provides miraculously, abundantly, from himself, and invites us to share in that blessing.
Maybe we will be hungry sometimes. Maybe we will feel separated from community sometimes. But Christ is an abundant spring of blessings. We will be filled. Let us, as the body of christ, feed the people who are hungry, be community to people who are separated. Let us share in – and share – the abundant blessings we receive.