Jesus Won’t Send You To the 7-Eleven!

Sunday, August 6 at 10am | Bulletin


It’s summer and maybe you’re heading off to find an uncrowded place for vacay. The Jersey Shore? A lake? A national park?  But there are crowds everywhere.  Now you know how Jesus and his friends must have felt when they needed some “me time” but failed to find it. Is there no place for some peace and quiet?

John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, had just had his head served up on a platter at Herod’s banquet, so that probably added to the urgency to get out of town.  Shaken, Jesus and his friends took a boat onto the lake to find “a solitary place.” But just like the Jersey shore in August, there is no solitary place. A crowd followed.

On Sunday, we’ll read Matthew’s version of a familiar Gospel story, the feeding of the 5000, or, as it’s sometimes called, the miracle of the loaves and fishes.  Many of us see this story as another showcase of Jesus’ miracle-making, as if Jesus was some kind of magician, turning water into wine, walking on water, or pulling enough food from his hat to feed 5000 people.  What if we focus not on Jesus, but on his friends. They were in no mood to help as dinnertime approached. Tired and scared, they wanted Jesus to order people in the crowd to leave. Leave us alone. Go find your food elsewhere. Get your nosh at the 7-Eleven.

I can relate. I’ve often been too scared or too busy to stop to help, or to work with others to imagine a solution. But Jesus, as usual, was determined to circumvent that very human response to leave everyone to their own devices.  What’s the story really about, then? Jesus’s magic tricks? Or some other kind of miracle?

Join us on this summer Sunday for some time apart to consider these questions. I promise: it won’t be too crowded.

See you there,
Pastor Terry

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