Home > Reading > Daily Reading – March 24, 2022

6:30 The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. 33 Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. 35 And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late.36 Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” 37 But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?” 38 And he said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39 Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. 41 And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. 42 And they all ate and were satisfied. 43 And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44 And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men. 45 Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray.

– Mark 6:30-46

Reading the Gospel for today, I am struck by the directness of Jesus’ questions in light of what the apostles had shared about their adventures just a short time before. It seems they had forgotten about how God had provided for them. Now, Jesus directs them after asking how much food they had to feed the crowd themselves. The disciples evidently thought they didn’t have enough. They looked only at the five loaves and two fish and thought, “Holy mackerel! This isn’t enough!” Yet, Jesus thought it was. He gave a blessing, then broke the loaves and divided the fish so there was enough to feed everyone. Obviously, the feeding of five thousand men was a tremendous miracle! Was Jesus showing us and the disciples that the amount they did have, blessed by God, would be enough — by asking them how much food they had? Somehow, God finds a way when there seems to be no way. Was Jesus in his question pointing them back to their experiences they had only a short time ago shared when they trusted in God’s provision as they traveled? The direction to “You feed them” steered them to the Word of life, the bread from heaven and the Gospel they were to preach was enough? Jesus starts with almost nothing, or what the world would certainly not enough and yet provides an overwhelming amount of sustenance with leftovers! Could it be that when we begin in and are sustained by Jesus, that whatever we strive to do will be at least enough, if not more? “You feed them” What do we have to offer the world, to fill the deepest needs of the world if not the bread of life, the Gospel of Jesus Christ? When we think we have nothing to offer, I believe the truth is, we have everything to offer — Jesus.

Prayer: Lord God, heavenly Father, help us to remember that with but a Word You created and sustain the universe. Give us faith and will to proclaim the name of Your Son, with boldness and compassion, so that we can say with the apostles before us, “we cannot but speak” of Jesus and His love. Strengthen our relationships with our fellow Christians as we serve in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Devotion written by the Rev. Phillip E. Gagnon STS

This daily prayer and Bible reading guide, Devoted to Prayer (based on Acts 2:42), was conceived and prepared by the Rev. Andrew S. Ames Fuller, director of communications for the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). After a challenging year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been provided with a unique opportunity to revitalize the ancient practice of daily prayer and Scripture reading in our homes. While the Reading the Word of God three-year lectionary provided a much-needed and refreshing calendar for our congregations to engage in Scripture reading, this calendar includes a missing component of daily devotion: prayer. This guide is to provide the average layperson and pastor with the simple tools for sorting through the busyness of their lives and reclaiming an act of daily discipleship with their Lord. The daily readings follow the Lutheran Book of Worship two-year daily lectionary, which reflect the church calendar closely. The commemorations are adapted from Philip H. Pfatteicher’s New Book of Festivals and Commemorations, a proposed common calendar of the saints that builds from the Lutheran Book of Worship, but includes saints from many of those churches in ecumenical conversation with the NALC. The introductory portion is adapted from Christ Church (Plano)’s Pray Daily. Our hope is that this calendar and guide will provide new life for congregations learning and re-learning to pray in the midst of a difficult and changing world.

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