Well I'm exhausted!
Three events in two days, two of them an hour and a half drive away on consecutive days. Saw the installation of our new cathedral dean and spoke with her briefly. Seems very nice and the congregation seems excited about having her as their spiritual leader. Then back home for an ice skating party on my Lutheran schedule (fairly successful I think). Then up bright and early for a presentation at a church in Buffalo, which also went very well. But a lot of driving (300-400 miles). I didn't wake up this morning till after 9!
But what really jumped out at me was the sermon yesterday. Deacon Edith Patterson preached on the feeding of the multitude and did what every preacher hopes they can do. She brought something to my attention that I had never noticed before. I doubt what I noted was on her radar as she prepared to preach (the whole sermon was very nice) but something struck me about that well known story that I had never thought about.
There's some discussion about what really happened at the time of this miracle. Out of all those thousands was there in fact only one person who had brought ANY food for the day? To many that seems unlikely and the miracle they believe was one where greedy folks who had in fact brought food, but had kept it to themselves the first time they were asked, eventually shared so that everyone ate. The traditional view is that the miracle was simply taking little and creating more.
But that's not the point of what struck me. Out of all that crowd of thousands, all those adults, only one person offered up what they had. It was a boy, a youth, a child. No matter how you choose to interpret the miracle think about this - one young person had that little bit of something (remember the "loaves" mentioned were probably the size of dinner rolls and the fish the size of sardines. Thanks Deacon Edith!)that was justifiably his. And he handed it over when the master asked. The adults were either too dumb to be prepared or too greedy to share.
I'm always looking for stories of young people in the scriptures. I've read this story probably 500 times in my life. Never saw that young man standing there.
And a child shall lead them.