We had a great gathering today! Thanks for those who followed the time change and made it to the Global Gallery to read, discuss, and retell the story of the feeding of the multitude (Luke 10, John 6). The re-tellings were really fun. I was able to collect a few, and others were written in journals so they will have to share on their own time (Andrew! Kristen!) But I did type out those that I could, and thought I would share them here:
"Outings with a large group of kids is not always easy, but as a teacher, its something you have to do. Do I have them all? Where are the lunches? Are they safe? These thoughts all ran through my mind as we became consumed in the crowd waiting to hear more from this man Jesus. The kids don't really know who He is or get his role in their community, but they don't really need to in their minds. He's interesting and unknown so they're intrigued - especially Michael. Meeting Jesus was all he talked about and as I did a quick head count, I realized he was gone. As any good teacher would, I began scanning the crowd and as I almost began to panic - there he was. He had pushed his way all the way to the front, practically standing at Jesus' side. What a pesty little kid, but bold you had to admit. Suddenly, he reaches into his bag and pulls out his lunch sack and offers it to a frowning friend of Jesus. He was offering them his food, and I thought about how insignificant that small amount was but what a big sacrifice that was for Michael, who had so little to offer coming from a poor family. But he was willing. Who could have guessed how his view of life changed with the feeding that followed. To some, it was just a free lunch; to Michael, having a small role in something so out of the ordinary. I knew he would never be the same." - Kellye Schroeder
"I was prepared. I thought ahead. I knew Jesus would talk for a long time. A LONG time....So I brought a lunch - a good sized lunch that would last me for the whole day. I didn't want to be hungry. I was smart about it.
But everyone else got caught up in the excitement, the aura, the emotion of Jesus and his miracles. I mean he was healing people right in front of our eyes! More and more would join the crowd, whether because they needed to be healed themselves, or they were adventure junkies - looking for a great story to tell their family and friends back home.
The crowd got bigger. We got further away from the city. And very few people had food or water. But I did. I was prepared. And I didn't plan to share. I was taking care of myself, like my mother had taught me. And I knew - no matter what happened to these other people - at least I would be OK.
Panic started to set in. People began to wonder about food, and looking to Jesus for direction. I can't be sure, but I thought I saw him get a little nervous himself. He held a little pow-wow with his disciples to come up with a plan. I snuck closer to hear what this genius Jesus - who hadn't htought about stopping his sermons for a lunch break - was going to come up with. I heard a disciple say, "But NO ONE has food!" I smirked, "Well I have food." They turned to me, saw the bread and fish I was munching on, and quickly snatched it out of my hands and showed it to Jesus. Before you knew it, wizz bang pow, there was food for everyone. Another miracle. Whoop dee doo.Everyone was glad to be eating, but no one realized it was my food they were eating! No one even asked my name.
Don't get me wrong. I'm happy people got to eat. I think it was cool what Jesus did. I'm impressed, and I'm going to check out another sermon sometime. But I just wish I would have gotten some more credit or recognition. I mean, without me, and my food, there never would have been a feeding of the 5,000." - Jesse Schroeder
"And Phillip said, 'Why did you ask us the question when you already knew what you would do?' Jesus said, 'Think about it. I asked the question so you would be part of figuring out the answer. First you used logic....but discovered it is too costly to buy bread for all of these. We don't have the money. Then you saw impossibility. There is a boy with 5 loaves and 2 fish. What is that among so many? Then you saw possibility when I said, 'Make the men sit down.' You believed.
I asked the question so you would be a part of finding the answer." - Nancy Jarosi
"Jesus mopped the sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand. The day was warm and he was tired from healing so many. They just didn't get it. He hadn't come to fix all of their problems. He had come to show them the reign of God, to show them how to join with him in bringing it to life. His gifts were meant to empower them, to inspire them to become givers. Yet they were so young. Like their ancestors, every gift led to a demand for more. Why couldn't they see?
Jesus groaned as he saw the multitude crest the hill. Here they come again. Even so, his heart filled with love. They were his people. Perhaps something new would show them - a miracle of community, of sharing, or offering what little they had to the reign of God.
He looked at the disciples. Something they got. Often they didn't. Peter looked poleaxed as the crowd came on. Dub as a rock - God love - but a heart of gold. There was hope for him yet.
"How can we feed them?" He asked. Would they get it this time?
Blank looks showed back. One small boy offered his lunch.
Jesus sighed internally as his followers smiled at the boy. "The reign of God is like a child's heart" he thought. "have them sit." he said. "Let them gather."
He paused to connect with God. One day, all would know this relationship. He gave thanks. And he was grateful. The boy would understand. He blessed the lunch and watched as the people were fed.
Soon a ruckus arose. Rumor echoed through the crowd. They wanted to make him King again. They didnt' understand what that meant. Didn't understand that he already was a king in God's reign. Another gift. Another demand that he do everything for them. Quickly he gathered the food and slipped away. The boy would understand. And he would continue loving the rest of them until they did as well." - Chad Johns