The sermon was good -- but I felt like there was more to the story for me. I figured the story must be pretty darn important if it shows up in all 4 accounts of Jesus' life -- so I decided to read them all in succession. I highly recommend it. There are many things to stand out -- lessons about how God can take the little we bring to the table and turn it into more than enough, and about how Jesus called his disciples to feed the people, and when they freaked out that it couldn't be done, he patiently showed them how and about how important compassion is to God. But for some reason, the things that stood out to me most tonight is that in each story, all of which vary a little from gospel to gospel (as all eyewitness accounts do) -- the one thing that is exactly the same every time is that before Jesus blesses and multiplies the bread -- HE ASKS THE CROWD TO SIT.
It seems like an innocuous thing -- so, what's the big deal about Jesus asking a bunch of people to sit in the grass? Well, the big deal to me was what it says about God and how he provides for us. Often, when we're worried about not having enough, about money and finances -- we start running around like chickens with our heads cut off. We work ourselves into a tizzy about what we should do, looking in every direction, beating out tiresome paths this way and that until we are weary and worn out and at the point of fainting. But here Jesus says, SIT. RELAX. LOOK AT WHAT I'M ABOUT TO DO FOR YOU UP HERE. And then he holds up the bread, and because we are sitting calmly, as peaceful as a person sitting in the grass, we can see the miracle as it happens -- we can watch the provisions as they are passed down to us. Jesus didn't tell the crowd to forage, to run around scrapping or begging. He asked them to sit. To trust. To get into a position of being able to surrender and receive.
Obviously, this doesn't mean to sit in a literal lazy way, waiting on the couch for a check to fall in our laps. I think it means, for me at least -- to settle down, to relax into the place where God has put me, right here, right now -- trusting and expectant that if I sit here doing my job, God will do his. I will be fed. And it will be more than enough.