Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday, 03/20/12

Gospel: Mark 8:1-10
Old Testament: Genesis 49:29-50:14
New Testament: 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

“I have compassion for these people...”
(NIV Mark 8:2)
Among the benefits the company that I work for offers is a “Personal Volunteer Day.”  You are entitled to receive a day off with pay if you spend that day participating in an event that serves the community.  A few years ago, I started selecting the Friday before Thanksgiving as my Personal Volunteer Day.

Every year the events of my volunteer day unfold in much the same manner.  I spend the day with Kenny Thayer collecting food for LINK’s Thanksgiving Food Distribution.  This annual event takes a lot of planning and a lot of volunteers.  It’s amazing to see so many people come together to help meet this community need.

Today’s reading from Mark, about Jesus feeding the four thousand, reminds me of that event.  We are told that Jesus felt compassion for the people, so He took what was available and prayed ─ trusting God to provide.

When we first arrive at the churches which serve as the distribution centers, there never seems to be enough food for the number of people signed up. The organizers (like the disciples) are always concerned that they may run out of food ─ although I have never heard of that happening.  Actually, the opposite is closer to the truth.  As with the four thousand, there always seems to be enough to feed those present… and then some.

Kenny and I spend such days moving food from LINK’s food pantry, shuttling between the two distribution centers, and picking up donations from schools.  Each time we return to the churches, the amount of food seems to have grown (just as the seven loaves and a few small fish multiplied).  As with the four thousand, the need is met by taking what is available and trusting God to provide.

May we follow Jesus’ example by showing compassion for one another and by trusting
God to provide.  Amen.


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