Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's a Miracle...

Hear the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000, as told in Mark 6:30-44 (NIrV). Jesus spent the last three years of his life teaching and sharing his love for God. He traveled around the countryside, meeting people where they lived…in towns, on hillsides, along the road. One day he had been out with his disciples teaching all day long. But people were still coming to hear Jesus. Jesus and his friends hadn’t even had time to eat, so Jesus told them, “Come away with me to a quiet place and get some rest.”

So the friends all got in a boat and sailed away, but the people saw them and figured out where they were going. By the time Jesus came ashore, a large crowd had gathered. Jesus, always the Good Shepherd, wanted to care for these people and feed their spirits, so he began to teach, even though it was late in the day and neither he, nor his disciples, had eaten. Jesus’ disciples were not happy. Jesus had promised them a time of rest. They went to Jesus and said, “It’s late. There is nothing here for the people to eat. They can go into the nearby villages and buy something.”

But Jesus said, “No, you give them something to eat.”

The disciples were amazed. They complained to Jesus, “But that would be too expensive. How are we supposed to buy bread for all these people.”

So Jesus said, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.”

Well, the disciples went off and when they came back they said, “Five loaves and two fish.” Jesus surprised them again by telling the disciples to gather the people on the grass in groups of hundreds and fifties. Then Jesus took the five loaves and two fish and looked up to heaven and gave thanks. Then he broke the food into pieces and gave them to his disciples to hand out to people. Do you know what happened? All of the people ate and all were satisfied. At the end of the evening when the disciples picked up the leftovers, there were still 12 baskets of broken pieces of bread and fish.

With each new Food Pantry and the steady increase in visitors, the volunteers often wonder if our shelves will be full enough to provide food for everyone who comes. Yet, as Jenn (the Pantry coordinator) says, the food is just a tool, and God will provide so that we can minister to our brothers and sisters in Christ. He always has and he always will. And New Life Church is so thankful when congregation members respond with donations, and friends and neighbors of members respond with donations and when community members respond with donations. It’s amazing to see God at work in this world through everyday people living out their faith in everyday life. God is good all the time. Amen!

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