Saint Mark Daily Advent Devotional – January 2, 2015
by Beth LaRocca-Pitts
The common theme in today’s readings is that God provides. In the Old Testament Lesson, 1 Kings 19:1-8, the prophet Elijah is fleeing for his life from the wrath of Queen Jezebel. He is exhausted and ready to die when an angel visits him and provides food to sustain him. This happens again on a second day and after this he is able to travel on his journey for forty more days and nights, strengthened by the food God provided. In the Gospel reading, John 6:1-14, Jesus feeds five thousand people with only five loaves and two fish given to him by someone in the crowd. Jesus multiplies the loaves and fish and everyone eats and there is food left over. While both of these stories are marvelous miracles, I get more daily encouragement from the Epistle reading, Ephesians 4:1-16. In this passage Paul explains how God provides gifts for each person which empower them to do the ministry that God wants them to do. God gives some the gift to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and some teachers. God gives others the ability to do works of ministry and to build up the body of Christ. What I love about this passage is that it makes clear that for every work that God wants from us, the skill set will be provided. I don’t have to give myself what I need to do God’s work. God provides all that is needed. If we remember this then we won’t fear failure. All that we need to succeed as God wants has already been given to us!
Prayer: Lord, help us to remember your wise provision. Help us to trust that you will equip us for all that you want us to do in your name. Amen