In the gospel of Mark, Jesus warns of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod. He reflects back on the feeding of the five thousand, which many of us heard read yesterday in our churches. Jesus appears to be reminding the disciples that faith and trust are key components to miraculous deeds.
We are not told what these “hardened hearts” of the disciples are all about. But the Pharisees were demanding a sign and not getting it. The disciples too were not seeing the sign for what it is. It is clear that many do not understand what is going on.
The sign wrapped up in the Feeding of the Five Thousand is one of abundance irrespective of who you are. It is simply abundance. Period.
We see this at the Table as well – the miracle of the Lord’s Table – where our unequal world becomes a world of equality – all are fed and all are welcome.
We reside in a kingdom where there is no Temple in Jerusalem with some who have exclusive rights. The Temple is Christ himself, and each time we gather, and break bread, and share of the kingdom feast which he has provided, we declare that building a new Temple is not the goal, but the feeding and care of God’s people.
This is the radical nature of the miracle. There is only peace, welcome, and a hand out. No application to fill out. No litmus test. No qualification for Medicaid or drug test to pass. No abuse of power, where if you take the bread you owe allegiance to a new master. No strings attached. None.
This radical table welcomes all – women and men, young and old, gay and straight, rich and poor, and is filled with the wondrous variety of every ethnicity imaginable. This is not diversity for diversity’s sake. This is God welcoming all his children to come home.
God’s kingdom is a place where all are fed and all are cared for. All.
And friends, that changes the equation. Then and now.