A Feast of Grace
Five loaves of bread. Two fish. Thousands of hungry people. Baskets and baskets of leftovers. Today’s gospel is a story of startling juxtaposition and miraculous transformation.
It is a story in which God comes in the way God always does—in ordinary elements and imperfect circumstances. Jesus gathers up perceived scarcity, holds questions and fears of inadequacy, and turns meager offerings into a feast of grace for all. And there is enough—enough for everyone to have as much as they could ever want, with plenty to spare. It’s a feast that meets physical needs and nourishes physical bodies, and through the mystery of faith also unites the feasters with God and one another.
As we hear these words from John, we too are invited to this ordinary and holy feast. It’s a feast that crosses time and space to welcome us in and to send us out. We too get to rejoice in the transformation that happens when we show up to worship, with hands open to receive and a deep hunger for new life.
We recognize our hunger in confession and prayer. We feast on the promises of God’s word. We taste God’s abundance at the communion table. We are drenched in God’s generous love in the waters of baptism. We are joined with the other perfectly ordinary and holy banquetgoers as we raise our voices together in song. And we extend this exuberant lovingkindness to the world when we go forth from worship, filled with hope and prepared for service in Christ’s name.
With Christ as the host, there is forever enough food for all. Christ’s table is one brimming with grace. All of us are invited, just as we are, with whatever meager offerings we have. For we can trust that in Christ, it is more than enough.
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