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Eighth Sunday after Trinity

 

 Bible readings –   Psalm 17 1-7; Romans 9 1-5

 

Matthew 14: 13-21

Five loaves and two fish, what would you think if you were offered that? We don’t tend to do a fresh fish between bread meal. I suppose the nearest would be a fish finger sandwich or one of those Mc Donalds Fillet of Fish, or Sardines on toast. But the people who had been following Jesus were very pleased to sit down and have it. This is what we are told the crowd had; as there is no mention of a boy in Matthew’s gospel bringing food up.

This miracle is  the known as the feeding of the 5,000, but Matthew tells us that there were many more people, as he mentions women and children, so we could guess at something between 13,00 – 17,000 people were present. I often think of high schools being about 1,000 – so over 10 high schools is a lot of folks! This miracle was huge, the thought of Jesus speaking to so many people without a PA system, or without being in a stadium is really something, let alone the food. To give you more of an idea, Nottingham Arena holds 10,000; Sheffield 13,600: Birmingham 15,800; O2 20,000. So it was a blessing that they didn’t have to do social distancing!

This miracle shows us of God’s delight in feeding all who have come to wait on him and listen to him. Could we imagine our Jesus saying, well thanks for coming but this is the tough situation, there is no food; that is not the nature of Jesus, he had compassion on the crowd. Or as Susan Sayers says that is not the nature of God, he sees our commitment, he sees what we do for him and here we see how people are acknowledged, perhaps many were people who had never met Jesus before, but that did not matter.

They may have come because they had heard of Jesus’ reputation, they may have come to see the miracles, they may have come with intrigue, with doubts and questions, whatever it was Jesus, made them all feel important; he made them feel at home.

When I looked at this reading it was verse 14 which stood out and spoke to me. ‘He had compassion on them’ (and cured the sick), but the compassion of Jesus did not stop there, he also recognised that someone in the crowd had compassion, despite they could not feed many of the people with 5 loaves and 2 fish. Jesus acknowledged that generous gift; and as a result that person went without nothing that they needed, everyone had their fill. He homed in on that goodness of that person among so many. We see this in other parts of the bible God acts when he find even a little goodness ( the first I thought of was Lot’s family escaping Sodom), so goodness is recognised even on the smallest scale.

The disciples though, took a different approach; they were being thoughtful when they asked Jesus to send the people away.  We can see why they thought this was caring, but Jesus showed how God works with abundant compassion. The disciple’s action also makes the case for the authenticity of the miracle. You may have heard some people say, once they saw someone donate their food they all went in their bags and pockets and got their own food out. Firstly, it is likely that most people had neither bags nor pockets at these times! (How many films about Jesus have you seen with bags or pockets?)  Secondly, if the people had food with them,  the disciples may well have been saying come on now get your food with you, it is time to sit down and eat,  – rather than send them away.

 

Even if there were a few more with food on them, this miracle shows the compassion of Jesus is for everyone, no matter what their life style. In a crowd of about 15,000 there must have been people with many different issues in their lives and some who had done virtually everything under the sun, but they were all equally welcomed at this feast provided by Jesus. That is the compassion that Jesus sends to us now, let us continue to share it.

Alex 

 

 

 

 

Alex's working week will be Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday with Tuesday and Thursday off. However there will be some flexibility, as recommended by the Bishop of Derby.

A Service of Morning Prayer

Dear Visitors to the Churchyard

We are very sorry but due to COVID 19 restrictions the group of people who usually maintain the Churchyard are unable to do so at this time.

Please take extra care as the vegetation continues to grow. If you are able to maintain the plots or areas you visit you are welcome to do so.

Stay safe, God bless you all and we very much look forward to the return of the Churchyard team

 

All Saints PCC

Wisdom for Today

Here is an interesting site to visit.

 

WISDOM FOR TODAY

http://wisdomfortoday.blog


A mature Christian blogging practical bible based insight,

wisdom and understanding for the current times.