Today we are all invited to our regular fifth Sunday Parish brunch, where we have an opportunity to share food and fellowship with one another. Sharing food in this way should lie at the heart of our congregational life. We do this on a day when the lectionary takes us to John’s account of Jesus miraculously feeding 5000 people from a few barley loaves and a few fish. In this story, Jesus meets that most basic human need, hunger, and does so with generosity and compassion.
Food takes up so much of our lives. How much more time we’d have it we took out the time for shopping for food, preparing food, and eating food. That’s because food provides the essential fuel to keep us going. But it’s much more than that isn’t it. Food is pleasure. Through food we enjoy life (a bit too much sometimes!) and through and over food we connect with each other, and form our human bonds and friendships.
The world is a hungry place. People are hungry for food, for jobs, for love, for care. The list of our hunger goes on and on. Yet so much of this hunger centres around a spiritual void. We are hungry for God. That hunger is very real, and yet we deceive ourselves into believing we can feed that hunger with other things such as food, money, clothes, cars, more technology, more stuff. We accumulate so much stuff, stuff that we believe says something about who we are – stuff that we somehow mistake for who and what we are. And yet our hunger has no end, and we simply crave more and more.
Into such a world steps Jesus, and here on the hillside, he freely offers abundance. Jesus operates out of abundance. Not only is there always enough, but there is more than enough. With this crowd there is plenty to eat, and then enough to gather together twelve basketsful of leftovers. In Jesus we find the Kingdom of God breaking into the here and now. Strength for today and hope for tomorrow. Daily bread, hospitality, freely shared, and more than enough for us to share with a hungry world. Come and join us at the parish brunch – you never know you might just find Jesus there!
In peace, Mother Lynda