The apostles returned to Jesus and told him everything they had done and taught. 31 Many people were coming and going, so there was no time to eat. He said to the apostles, “Come by yourselves to a secluded place and rest for a while.” 32 They departed in a boat by themselves for a deserted place.
33 Many people saw them leaving and recognized them, so they ran ahead from all the cities and arrived before them. 34 When Jesus arrived and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Then he began to teach them many things.
35 Late in the day, his disciples came to him and said, “This is an isolated place, and it’s already late in the day. 36 Send them away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy something to eat for themselves.”
37 He replied, “You give them something to eat.”
But they said to him, “Should we go off and buy bread worth almost eight months’ pay and give it to them to eat?”
38 He said to them, “How much bread do you have? Take a look.”
After checking, they said, “Five loaves of bread and two fish.”
39 He directed the disciples to seat all the people in groups as though they were having a banquet on the green grass. 40 They sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 He took the five loaves and the two fish, looked up to heaven, blessed them, broke the loaves into pieces, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 Everyone ate until they were full. 43 They filled twelve baskets with the leftover pieces of bread and fish. 44 About five thousand had eaten.
Listening to God: Miracles happen when you take what you have and put it in my hands. So often you refuse to give me what you have. Usually this is because you feel that it is small, insignificant, even ugly. But I want you exactly as you are. I want the real you. Don’t wait until you have achieved some imagined level of perfection to come to me. Do you have fears, doubts, negative feelings, guilt, bad habits? No problem! Bring it on; I can take whatever you give me and transform you to be a blessing to others.
Journal or lift up your prayers and reflections to God.
*Our season of prayer guide comes from Joan Gray’s book, Sailboat Church: Helping Your Church Rethink Its Mission and Practice.