Dear Church Friends,
As the upheaval caused by the pandemic begins, we hope, to subside, we see in the news a host of aftershocks that continue to reverberate through the world.
Researchers are concerned that some of the progress that had been made in alleviating global hunger has now been reversed, with some areas of the world facing chronic shortages of affordable food. World Vision notes that nearly 9% of the world’s people go to bed hungry most nights. And researchers in Oregon note that nearly ¼ of Oregon’s population now find themselves food insecure, without the assurance of sufficient reliable food for themselves and their families.
It can be overwhelming to read these statistics, and to envision the scope of the need and the impacts on individual lives. Faced with all this, people sometimes find themselves at a loss to know how to respond.
In our reading for Sunday from John’s gospel, we read of a time when Jesus’ disciples were likewise daunted by the sheer immensity of the need they saw before them. A whole multitude of people were gathered to hear Jesus, and as the day was waning, they were hungry.
How the people ended up being fed was a curious mixture of human response and Jesus’ intervention, a kind of cooperating grace that our Lord was able to use to provide for all the gathered people to be fed.
As we explore this story together on Sunday, we will look at some of the current-day counterparts to the loaves and fishes offered on that day in Galilee, and get a sense of how we can take up our part in sharing bread with those who are hungry, for the sake of our Lord, who came as the bread of life.
Wishing you peace,