Today’s Readings for the Daily Office
Psalm 34 (Morning)
Psalm 33 (Evening)
1 Kings 19:1-8
Today’s gospel reading of John 6 tells us how Jesus fed a multitude with only a few loaves and fishes. Jesus’ feeding of 5,000 people with the “five loaves and two fish” is amazing! It surely has to rank up there with walking on water and turning water into wine on the “All Time Jesus Miracles” Hall of Fame list. I wonder if the new Smithsonian Museum of the Bible on the Mall in Washington, DC has a Jesus Hall of Fame? If not then it should!
This gospel speaks to me in a way that reflects a big change I experienced in my life in the past few years. Most of this change happened because I attend Saint Paul’s.
To me, this gospel speaks about trust. Attending Saint Paul’s has taught me that allowing myself to trust more can make a huge difference in my life–in lowering worry over attempting to control the outcome of many activities. When there is trust that “somehow things will work out” my life gets a lot easier. It’s almost a shift of effort from controlling the results toward controlling how I am heading toward that (unknown) result.
Now I don’t think Jesus and the disciples said to each other “if we only really believe, we can stretch out this food to 1,000 times its size!” What I imagine is almost the opposite: an attitude of, ”we only have this much food: we can all take a little less and let’s just see where this takes us.” So what if they only managed to feed 50 or even 30 with the tiny amount of food they had? Even doing that can be a small miracle with a hungry crowd! To me, those numerical discussions overshadow the point. The point is to just move along in life, trust a little more, and do the absolute best with what we’ve got–don’t worry that it’s not quite perfect. When we do this, great things can happen–things we never expected.
Written by Alan Ostner, ASLA, RLA
Alan is a recovering English Literature major and licensed landscape architect who was raised Methodist in Little Rock. He later spent 6 years attending the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Fayetteville. He and his wife Molly Jensen and their children Phoebe and Reed discovered their faith community in 2011 at Saint Paul’s under Father Lowell’s steady guidance. Alan currently gladly and faithfully serves on the vestry as Junior Warden.