Devotional: May 18, 2020
When Jesus got the news [about the death of John the Baptist], he slipped away by boat to an out-of-the-way place by himself. But unsuccessfully—someone saw him and the word got around. Soon a lot of people from the nearby villages walked around the lake to where he was. When he saw them coming, he was overcome with pity and healed their sick.
15 Toward evening the disciples approached him. “We’re out in the country and it’s getting late. Dismiss the people so they can go to the villages and get some supper.”
16 But Jesus said, “There is no need to dismiss them. You give them supper.”
17 “All we have are five loaves of bread and two fish,” they said.
18-21 Jesus said, “Bring them here.” Then he had the people sit on the grass. He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread to the disciples. The disciples then gave the food to the congregation. They all ate their fill. They gathered twelve baskets of leftovers. About five thousand were fed.
Matthew 14: 13-21 The Message
The other day, I happened to be driving by the Town Toyota Center here in Wenatchee. The lineup of cars signaled that it was time for distribution from the large food bank housed there temporarily. I was humbled by the sight of seeing so many people, all in dire need to be fed, and to feed their families. According to reports in the newspaper, our community is stepping up to this challenge in many ways. People are being fed, through the efforts of our entire community.
The story of the feeding of the 5,000 made a lasting impression on Jesus’ hearers. He took what little the people had, and multiplied it. The result? All were fed, with ample left over. Jesus wanted no one to go hungry.
Besides illustrating the miraculous power of our Lord Jesus, the story also shows us how much we need one another. This feeding story shows how Jesus took care of his people. It is an example to us, and should nudge us towards sharing generously with our neighbors. We should share in many ways, meeting both physical and spiritual needs. The scriptures remind us that as we have been blessed, we in turn need to bless others.
This miracle begins with Jesus asking his disciples what they have. Maybe only in retrospect, they realized their small contribution made them part of the miracle which followed. We need to realize that same truth: often, we already have what we need in order to minister effectively. We don’t need to wait around for a clap of thunder to see an opportunity to share, and to give.
While it is true Jesus could have fed the crowd out of thin air, he instead wanted to use what was shared.
During this time in our community, nation, and world, we need to make the most of the opportunities given to us. Let us pass on God’s love, through the blessings God has poured out upon us. May we give generously! Know that in the same way that Jesus notes small acts of sharing and generosity, He will see and celebrate any of our acts of generosity and sharing on His behalf. Now that is really good news!
Lord of all,
We know that there are people in need in our communities. We lift them up before you, as you are a God who meets needs, often miraculously! Help us to follow the example of those disciples, using what we have to give honor and praise to You. We are thankful for your gifts to us. May we pass along some of those gifts to others, who need to be blessed as well. We pray this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.
PS. In case you want details on the Food Bank at the Town Toyota Center, here is some information through Serve Wenatchee:
Drive-thru / Walk-up Food Bank at Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee
“In order to meet the needs of those experiencing food insecurity, in the safest way possible, we will be providing food boxes on Wednesdays starting at 4:00pm at the Town Toyota Center. If you are driving there, you will go through the drive through process and if you are taking Route B through Link Transit, there will be a walk-up area for you to use. Please remember that the Community Center Food Bank is open as a drive-thru on Thursday mornings, St. Vincent's Food Bank is open on Saturday mornings and the Salvation Army also provides food boxes. For our homeless neighbors, grab-and-go meals are available 3 times a day at the Lighthouse. Please note that, until further notice, we will not be open at the Town Toyota Center from 9 to noon.”
More information may be found on the Serve Wenatchee website: