Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Daily Devotion for Lent 2015, Day 19

Daily Devotion for Lent

Wednesday, March 11, 2015, Day 19

Mark 8:1-10 (NRSV)

This is the second time in Mark Jesus feeds the multitudes.  This feast is for 4,000 people while the first was 5,000.  In the second, we have seven baskets left over while in the first there were twelve.

I have always wondered if these were variances on the same miracle.  Luke and John only offer one feeding while Matthew repeats both feedings.

People waiting for bread in Gaza. Hungry descendants of
those fed two millennium ago? 
While John spiritualizes most things (we see Jesus identified as the Bread of Life), we are left wondering in Mark what this really means. We are not the only ones - even the disciples were reported not to understand about the loaves.

If they both came from the same miraculous feeding, why would Mark not report the smaller feeding first, building the greater expectation as the Gospel unfolded?

Of course, the tradition for Mark could have been that they occurred in this order and so there was nothing illustrative to read into it from a literary perspective.

We hear nothing from the crowd.

Did they wonder at this miracle?

Were they expecting it?

Why do we hear nothing about people emerging from the crowd, seeking to follow Jesus?

I then wonder at myself - all the good things I have experienced from God that elicited no real response from me.  Can we become so accustomed to grace that we are no longer hungry?

Prayer from the African American Heritage Hymnal:

Lord, we thank you for all the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We thank you for fire
shut up in our bones. Help us to release the anointing of the Holy Spirit
which dwells within us. Let us pour your blessing into the lives of others.
Let us lift up the name of Jesus with power from on high.  Amen.

Picture by By Al Jazeera English (Breadline) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Prayer from Bread for the World.

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