Gratitude is the sign of noble souls ~ Aesop

Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving ~ Kahlil Gabran

Joy delights in joy ~ William Shakespeare

Sunday, July 31, 2011


A few nights ago on Jeopardy, the final question was "Which of Jesus' miracles was the only one to appear in all four gospels?" I was appalled that as a person pretty confident of my Biblical knowledge and jeopardy prowess -- I answered wrong. And then, I had a good laugh tonight when I listened to today's sermon online from my old church. What was it about? You guessed it -- the only miracle to appear in all four Gospels -- The Miracle of the Loaves and Fish. It's where Jesus takes 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish and turns it into enough food not only to feed 5000 people (perhaps more if they were only counting the men) but also, in an extravagant show of provision, there was enough left over to fill 12 baskets.

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.


  1. Very, very interesting! I would have failed the question as well. There must be something very important about this miracle indeed for it to have been present in every book. I think sitting - being still and having faith - is a very significant lesson. Thanks for the food for thought. ;)

  2. What was "forgiveness"? should have been counted as an all-four-gospels miracle(s)...?

    Call me a party-pooper, but I've never been one for magic tricks. And graciously, Jesus wasn't really into them either -- considering the "get-a-load-of-me extravaganzas he coulda conjured up had he been auditioning for a top rated reality teevee show.

  3. and as my father used to tell me: "Don't just do something, stand there."

    Seriously, he really said that... a lot.

  4. Absolutely wonderful blog and teaching, Kara! Great observation (I have not noticed it before in those terms) and well said. We saw that episode last week and your mom was the first to get the answer in this household...cudos to her. Tonight, after I commented on reading your blog, which she read earlier, she made a very interesting connection between your observation and the teaching about the "Sabbath rest" in the book of Hebrews. A writer friend of mine, whom I met at a book convention last year, wrote a book entitled "Be Still, And Know I Am God"...I think adding the words "Sit Down" to the front of that title emphasizes a concept we all need to get a hold of! Thanks for sharing this!