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Monday, January 4, 2021

Feeding the People

When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children. Matthew 14:13-21 NIV

Reading a devotion in the Upper Room recently, I was reminded of a poem by Mary Oliver. Mary’s poem, Logos, begins:

Why wonder about the loaves and the fishes?

If you say the right words, the wine expands.

If you say them with love

And the felt ferocity of that love

And the felt necessity of that love

The fish explode into many.

And at the end of the poem, she says:

Accept the miracle,

Accept, too, each spoken word

Spoken with love.

The devotion from The Upper Room, titled “Feed the Hungry”, discussed how those of us who help to feed the hungry are living out Jesus’ message “bring the hungry to me, and I will feed them”. We may not be able to multiply food the way that Jesus did, but we can share in His example by doing what we can to feed those with less.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for Food Banks. We are thankful for those people in our midst who donate food, who volunteer and/or work at Food Banks, and we ask that you open our hearts to those in need. Amen.

Donna Gustafson

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