BBC TV ‘News at Ten’ in January led on the possibility of a shortage of fresh vegetables in the UK. Uncertainty of this kind can lead to a build up of anxiety and even fear. Human response to the threat of the unknown may be naturally defensive or even narrowly self interested.
The thousands of people who St Mark tells us came out to a deserted area to see and hear Jesus of Nazareth were less cautious. Late in the day, without food. they were about to be sent away to buy supplies. This pragmatic solution proposed by Jesus’ disciples was overturned abruptly. ‘You give them something to eat’ he said. (Mark 6:37) There was then a continuing debate about the impossibility of such a huge task.
At which point Lord Jesus showed them how to see and act from a completely different perspective.
Taking what was available he transformed two fish and five loaves into enough for all.
Away from their familiar setting, everyone was offered essential life-giving food.
Read the whole of Mark chapter 6 to note the contrast with Herod’s profligate banquet for his powerful allies, and its lethal consequences for Jesus’ cousin.
In our national and Church life this is a time to depend on the grace of Lord Jesus Christ, to recognise what he is already providing to sustain body and soul and to renew our commitment to sharing that abundance with all our neighbours and fellow citizens.