The Story for the
Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
Aug 2, 2020
prepared by the Rev’d Rhonda Waters
Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick.
When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Something to Do
Have a picnic!
Take your meal (bread and fish, maybe!) to a lovely spot outdoors (bonus if it’s in a deserted place) and read this story before you eat. How does it feel to read it “in place”?
Remember that Jesus is present with us everywhere and that everything we have and everything we are comes from God.
Share your bread
The invitation to bring a Bible story to life by giving food to those who are hungry comes up again and again in the Story at Home. That’s because it comes up again and again in the Bible.
The Centretown Emergency Food Centre, the Ottawa Food Bank, St. Luke’s Table and others all continue to experience particularly high demand. If you are able, make a financial contribution to support their work.
If you are not able to give money this way, share your bread by giving a sandwich or an apple or a granola bar to someone who might appreciate it.
Something to Wonder
You give them something to eat.
Put yourself in the disciples’ shoes.
How do you suppose they felt when Jesus told them to feed the crowd? Have you ever felt this way? What happened?
Now how do you suppose the disciples felt when all they could offer Jesus was a little bread and fish? Have you ever felt this way? What happened?
And, finally, how do you suppose the disciples felt when they were able to distribute food to everyone, even though they had started with so little? Have you ever felt this way? What happened?
And all ate and were filled
The story is about food but we need more than food to be truly filled. What are you hungry for these days? Are there ways Jesus is meeting that hunger, perhaps unexpectedly? Or are you finding yourself in a time of waiting to be fed?
Something to Learn
Food Security in Canada and Globally
Food insecurity is not a new problem but, as with many social ills, the pandemic has increased the urgency and the visibility of the problem. This collection of resources is a starting place for learning more about the problem and ways to advocate for food for all.
In Ottawa: The Nutritious Food Basket 2019 report is produced by Ottawa Public Health. It includes information on the income needed to not be vulnerable to food insecurity, the number of people in Ottawa and in Canada who do face food insecurity, and resources for engaging with the problem.
In Canada: Food Secure Canada offers Five Big Ideas for a Better Food System
Globally: The World Food Programme of the UN is seeing an increase in need around the world. This article looks to life after the pandemic. Why Sustainable Food Systems are Needed in a post-COVID World
Something to Pray
Holy God, we do not always understand your word or your ways.
Give us wisdom and imagination and courage as we learn and grow.
The story this week has made me wonder about…
(what questions are still on your heart?)
Receive my questions and help me hear your answers.
The story this week has filled me with…
(how are you feeling?)
Accept my praise, heal my hurt, ease my worry.
The story this week has reminded me of…
(are there situations or people you are thinking of?)
Be with all who are in need of you.
In Jesus’ name, we pray.