Abundant Community: Physical Feast

Amy Curran

Read: John 6:8-13

So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. (vv. 10-11)

At home growing up, my family grew raspberries in our backyard. Because there were five of us, the berries felt like a rare commodity. When my siblings and I picked them together in the mornings, it became a race to find the best berries and eat them before the others could. Scarcity has a way of turning companions into competitors.

There were many people on the hillside. There was not enough food to go around. The temptation would have been to see the other people as competition for scarce resources. Instead, Jesus has the people sit around the “table.” He breaks the bread, and has them pass it to one another. They become common guests at Jesus’ feast. Rather than becoming competition, the people become community.

On the hillside, a necessary part of receiving the abundant gifts of God is also sharing those gifts. What would have happened if some had not continued to pass the bread, hoarding it instead for themselves or their families? That would have been an inappropriate response to this abundant provision; it is not okay to deprive others who are at the table. God does provide abundantly, but this abundance cannot be received by all if some refuse to pass along the gift. —Amy Curran

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for paying attention to my every need. Please help me recognize ways I can pass along the gifts you have given me.