Mar 242020
 

In those days when there was again a great crowd without anything to eat, he called his disciples and said to them, “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way – and some of them have come from a great distance.” His disciples replied, “How can one feed these people with bread here in the desert?” He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.” Then he ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground; and he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them to the crowd. They had also a few small fish; and after blessing them, he ordered that these too should be distributed. They ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. Now there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away. And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha. (Mark 8:1–10)

Sometimes I think we get lost in the magnitude of the miraculous: the great crowd, the seven loaves, the breadly blessing, and the baskets full of leftovers. It’s a magnificent story . . . but what strikes me is that no one seems to marvel at the miracle. The people ate their share, the story ends abruptly, and Jesus and his friends simply move on – no questions asked, no teaching taught, no nothing nowhere.

It seems to me that the miraculous oftentimes pulls our attention away from that which truly matters. In this case, if we focus too greatly on the magnitude of the miraculous, we may miss what life could look like in God’s economy In God’s economy, there is enough for everyone and everyone always finds enough . . . with baskets full to spare. In God’s economy, there is abundance . . . not only of grace and mercy and love, but of fish and loaves and food as well. In God’s economy, there is togetherness . . . God’s grace and goodies are shared with this crowd and then God’s grace and goodies are shared with the next town over.

It is good to see our family of faith pulling together even when we cannot be together and it is good to know that God’s grace and mercy and love flows in and through us . . . now we pray for God’s fish and loaves and food to be made available to everyone in need.

Updates

  1. In accordance with Federal, State, and Local declarations and taking into account the best practices from other countries fighting this global pandemic, we have decided to extend the closure of our building and the cancelation of all programming in our building through at least Sunday, May 10.
  2. We will continue to live-stream our Sunday morning worship services during and while we know many have experienced issues with this service, we are working with our service provider to fix these problems and we are exploring other live-streaming options as well.
  3. At this time, there are still no confirmed cases of this virus in Wilkes County, but we remain vigilant in doing our part to prevent its spread.
  4. If you begin to feel sick with COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), please do not go to the hospital. Instead, healthcare workers are directing people to contact the Health Department (651-7450) to set up an appointment for a drive-up test, after which, individuals should remain self-quarantined until the test results come back.
  5. As a reminder, we have some foodstuffs in the office to hand out should you know of people who are in need or if you yourself have need of it.
  6. Continue to pray for those in our community in the deepest need and if you hear of community needs, please let us know by calling the office.
  7. You may want to utilize the Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for devotional reading – you can access the resource here: https://www.presbyterianmission.org/yearbook/
  8. Keep up to date with the latest information by visiting our website and Facebook page.

Thank you for your ongoing thoughts and prayers. Stay safe and may God’s peace be with you all.                      -rc

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