“And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.”
It is no mistake that we read about the bounty of God today, the day after we read about instructions regarding Jubilee and sabbatical years. We are far more ready to receive the bounty of God when we are rested, refreshed, and intentionally focused on our relationships with God and others. In this story, we find Jesus with thousands of people outside of the town. We can imagine he was preaching, teaching, and curing people in the group. The disciples, frantic, tell Jesus to send the people away because they don’t want to be responsible for feeding the people. To their minds only focused on scarcity, Jesus turns scarcity into abundance. He breaks up the crowd into more manageable units of 50. Have you ever wondered why he breaks up the crowd into smaller groups? Perhaps he does it so that people are more likely to look one another in the eye. Perhaps he wants them to connect in a more intimate way. Why? Maybe so that they will share what they have. If everyone shares in their group, scarcity is transformed to abundance. Now that is a miracle. As you think about this story in Scripture, where is God calling you to share what you have? How does connection to others make it easier to overcome difficult tasks and attitudes? How do your relationships affect the gratitude you’ve been seeking to cultivate this Lent?