Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pentecost 7 (Too much good stuff)

Today's readings: Psalm 23, Jeremiah 23:1-6, Ephesians 2:11-22, and Mark 6:30-44 (sermon text).

The way of Jesus: too much good stuff, more than we expect, more than we deserve. This is one of the few events common to all four Gospels, so it's very important. Here, in Mark's book, normally fast-paced, he takes time to tell of this miracle.

If Jesus gives us any good stuff, it's far more than what we deserve from the Creator whom we have disobeyed. We deserve not even one breath of oxygen, but grace comes in! Solely because of His own decision, we receive our Lord Himself under the bread and wine, earthly blessings, and the indwelling Word.

Jesus, although exhausted, had compassion on the people who had no true shepherd. "The Lord is my Shepherd," the true Son of David, our true Leader. So the first "good stuff" was His presence with the people. Next: the meal procured by faith and thanksgiving of God the Son to the Father. Seating in 50s and 100s parallels the OT Exodus; twice God fed His people in the wilderness. Both these events also prefigure Christ's orderly feeding of today's flock in the Eucharist.

Too much good stuff. Another detail: His disciples distributed the meal and collected generous leftovers. Pastors distribute His gifts today, abundant gifts we need and are given by grace. We hardly notice it sometimes, but we need this nourishment daily. Cherish it.

Amen. Soli Deo gloria.

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