Saint Mark Daily Lenten Devotional – March 17, 2015
by Jeff Collins-Smythe
Scripture: Mark 8: 1-10
At St. Mark, I have the honor of working with 1st-3rd graders as one of their Sunday School teachers. What energy and excitement every week as we learn and share together! We’ve had fun wrapping ourselves like mummies when we talked about Lazarus, eating strange things together as we talked about John the Baptist’s diet, and lighting candles as we talked about being the light to others.
Today’s lesson is certainly familiar to our young kiddos and to most of us – Jesus making miracles with loaves and fish. But what is interesting about this story is that it is, indeed, the second time within a couple of chapters in Mark that Jesus performs this miracle. The first time is in Chapter 6 to 5,000 and this time in Chapter 8 it’s to 4,000 people. It is almost as if Jesus realized that his disciples were not getting it, so he did it again!
Just as our kiddos, and certainly like the disciples long ago, sometimes we need to hear the story over and over again to comprehend and embrace its message. We take on stress, try to resolve unbelievable obstacles, push ourselves to keep everyone happy, and do, do, do…until we realize that we cannot do it alone. We cannot feed the 4,000 or the 5,000; we simply need to stand back and let Jesus work his miracle. As we prepare for Holy Week and for Easter ahead, let us continue to identify those items for which the Holy Spirit may be saying, “You’re not really getting it; let’s try this again.”
Prayer: God, help us to look for your work again and help us to get it this time. Amen.