getting out the Word

the 9th sunday after pentecost

the PRAYER …

Gracious God, you have placed within the hearts of all your children a longing for your word and a hunger for your truth. Grant that we may know your Son to be the true bread of heaven and share this bread with all the world, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

the READING …

When they were satisfied, [Jesus] told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” john 6:1-21

the DEVOTION …

Jesus goes to the other side of the Sea, up the mountain, and sits with his disciples. The crowd follows. Across the same Sea. Up the same mountain. And with five loaves and two fish, Jesus feeds thousands. When everybody’s satisfied, [Jesus] tells the disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” Now, in the past, I would have thought it was all about Jesus! Taking bread! Giving thanks! Breaking! And the fragments-left-over were the remains of a miracle. Crumbs! Crust! The moral of the story? God always gives a good measure! Pressed down! Shaken together! Running over! Always more than enough!

But for some reason, this time, I thought of the crowd. The tired! The poor! Huddled masses! Wretched refuse! What are these if not fragments! Leftovers! Bits and pieces of humanity scattered at Jesus’ feet! Jesus has just fed them! And now, he looks around! At the nameless! At the faceless! He tells his disciples, “Gather up the fragments, so that nothing may be lost!” Gather up the “fragments,” so that no ONE may be lost! Word of god, word of life!

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