Lenten Daily Devotional - March 9
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. And all ate and were filled.
I wasn't there on the hillside, as the sun grew faint and my hunger grew. I wasn't there to hear words of compassion, or promise, or hope. I didn't eat the bread, or marvel at the man whose very presence lit the faces in the crowd. No, I am a twenty-first century Christian, born in an age where reason is honored and science lauded.
Our modern logic tends to 'explain away' this miracle along with the rest. An earthquake caused the Red Sea to part; the blind had psychosomatic issues. The 5,000 were fed, not because Jesus multiplied loaves and fishes, but because Jesus' teaching made people let go of selfish desires and share their food with neighbors.
For centuries, no matter how smart we become, we will never be able to rationally answer the mystery of these miracles, and, like Pascal, in the end we just have to bet on God.
I don't find that too hard to do, because I have witnessed miracles. The miracles I know are not the kind passed in a basket. These are hindsight miracles which have never been born of my rational thinking, or my guilt, or even my best motives. They are those ah-ha moments when I realized God's presence in my life, and God's providence in my fate, God's chuckling at my best intentions, and the identity of the hand reaching down into the well.
I cannot call these miracles karma, or luck, or fate. They are my loaves and fishes.
Oh God, calm my frantic thoughts, so that, as I reflect upon my life, I may ask for insight and give thanks for your presence and your care.
What are your loaves and fishes?
Talk about these times in your life. It's called witnessing.
About the Author
Rev. Margaret Watkins and her husband Jim have been members of PHPC for 20 years.