Christian, devotion, faith, Fear, Feeding of 5000, Mark, Presbyterian Church (USA), Uncategorized, United Church of Christ (UCC)

Glimpses of Grace Daily Devotion for August 5, 2017

Devotional Reading from the Daily Common Lectionary: Mark 8: 1-10

Text: They ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. (v. 8)

I once hired a personal trainer to help me regain some of the strength of my younger days. He wasn’t, what I call, a “frog man” with muscles not found in nature or pictured in the back of the comic books of my childhood. He looked like a normal everyday kind of guy with no visible body fat. Our workouts were an hour, and he would encourage as well as challenge me. When I thought I could do no more, he’d ask me to do just one more. Lo and behold, I always managed to do one more!

I thought of him after reading today’s gospel story. Individual followers of Jesus, as well as groups of us, do not know how much we can really do if push comes to shove. Often we are satisfied with “good enough” instead of doing just one more.

The disciples did not know how they were going to feed the 5000. Jesus asked them to bring their resources to Him. He blessed it before giving it back to them.  “Okay, let’s see what we can do.” They did far more than they ever imagined; as a matter of fact, they had left-overs.

I am reminded of what the Risen Lord said to Paul; “My strength is made perfect in your weakness.” (II Corinthians 12:9) When we say, “There’s not enough”, God says, “Yes, there is.” When we say, “I’m not enough,” God says, “Yes you are!”

Lord, Let me not see scarcity but plenty. Let me not be afraid to try even if I fail. Let me never think that I am not enough, because You know that I am. Amen.

Christian, Feeding of 5000, Mark, Presbyterian Church (USA), Uncategorized, United Church of Christ (UCC)

Glimpses of Grace Daily Devotion for August 1, 2017

Devotional Reading from the Daily Common Lectionary: (Mark 6: 30-46)

Text: “You give them something to eat.”  (v. 37)

“You know, somebody really ought to do something about that!”

“I hope that someone steps up and takes care of that!”

“I just hope that someone takes responsibility and fixes that!”

You’ve probably heard those expressions and may have even said all or one of them yourself. I know that I have.

Today’s lesson is the “feeding of the 5000”, the only “miracle” that appears in all four of the New Testament gospels. Overwhelmed by the magnitude of feeding so many people the disciples ask Jesus to them them away–to send them home–or to at least do something about it! And He does, but what He does may surprise you!

In the movie Bruce Almighty the main character thinks that he can do a better job at being God than God can. So God gives Bruce the reins and watches him make a mess of everything. Suddenly Bruce realizes that being God is hard and complicated and simply too much. A humbler Bruce tells God that he gives up.

“You know what your problem is, Bruce? You wanted a miracle. Well, Bruce, you be the miracle.”*

Jesus turned the tables on the disciples. He told them to feed the 5000. I believe that with all of the hurt and brokenness in the world, Jesus still calls those who would take Him seriously to do something about it. But how? It’s really quite simple and oh, so hard.

Inventory your resources, all of them. The truth of the matter is that we have more than we give ourselves credit for having. Second, dedicate our resources to Him. Then, when Jesus gives them back to you, use them to do the work you are called to do.

You be the miracle.

Lord, give me insight and courage; insight to see my assets and courage to follow You. Amen.

*A summary of the dialogue for brevity.