July 29: Meaning of Miracle
So during the Sabbath today, I've been thinking about our Gospel reading: John 6:1-22. There is the feeding of the 5,000 and then Jesus walking on water. So, miracles, right? But what are we supposed to do with miracles? Especially when they are not repeated in our current time in this same way....
One possible purpose of a miracle is to show us a Truth of who God is and what God can do....
Let's take the feeding of the thousands first: A Truth we can clearly get out of this story is that God provides an abundance---such an abundance that there are leftovers after everyone has taken one's fill.
Of course, this Truth is predicated on a few things: sharing, those without power, communal efforts, and God's blessing.
Jesus asks the disciples (Us, then...) Where are we to buy enough food.....? Right away, Jesus doesn't just make it happen; Jesus turns to the disciples and declares that this is a communal effort. And of course, they are still not quite sure what to do. In fact, it takes someone with the least amount of power among them, a youth, who simply shares what he has on him. So sharing is essential. Here's the pattern we see: Share; God's blessing is requested; the offering is broken up; and then there is enough. A Truth we need to hear. Share. Ask God's blessing. Let our offering be broken open.......there will be enough. For all....and then some.
And let's not forget, this is a communal solution and we are to look to those outside of power to find answers......
And then there's the walking on the water. Last night at our Dinner Church, we Dwelled in the Word with this Gospel. And one of the folks shared that she thought of walking on water like those folks who are struggling with a really difficult, challenging, or impossible situation: like a devastating disease, or dealing with poverty, or addiction, or even losing one's job and not knowing the way forward. All of these situations require that one must trust in something unseen---trust in a promise that one is held through the storms----so that one doesn't drown. That's walking on water, isn't it? (thanks, Sue!)
The Word has touched my heart this Sabbath and made me think and stretch and wonder....I pray the Word has touched you too. The Sabbath is almost over now. I give thanks, much thanks. In particular for this Beloved Community......Blessings, Jane
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Jane Johnson is the pastor and priest of the Beloved Community of Intercession Episcopal and Redeemer Lutheran.