August 2

Matthew 14:17-21

“Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.” vs. 19

The story of the feeding of the multitudes was a favorite among early Christians and shows up in all of the gospels at least once. It reminded them of the miraculous provision of manna in the wilderness from early Hebrew writings, but even more than that, they believed it had been a foretaste of the meal they were celebrating together in their communities. Even the words of the story were the same: Jesus took the loaves, looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the bread, and the distribution began. This ritual has continued to be at the center of Christian worship, and is for many, a critical part of their faith practice. And this is precisely what so many of us have been missing in these last weeks. We’ve tried to make do with our Zoom Bread and Wine Gatherings and moments of clergy led Spiritual Communion, but we’re longing for the day when we can enjoy the real presence of our brothers and sisters in Christ as we eat and drink together. The five loaves and the two fish didn’t seem like much for a crowd of thousands–but they were enough. And so it is for the little bit of bread and wine in Holy Communion–it doesn’t seem like much, but it is enough!

Thought for the Day: What part of worship am I missing most?

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