The Providence of God

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Neh. 7:73b-8:3,5-18Rev. 18:21-24Matt. 15:29-39

Today in Matthew Jesus cures many and feeds many more.

Here’s the takeaway: God loves us as sticks close by. Jesus shows us that God does not stand outside of life, but is right here with us, beside us in our broken and troubled and suffering world.

That is quite a statement given all the mass shootings and acts of terror.  And today as our lawmakers idly sit by waiting for the next mass shooting, only to do nothing, these words from Matthew are also a call to awaken our spirits and engage our hands.

Ours is not a faith of easy answers and unrealistic solutions.  Jesus entered life and died on the cross for us, showing us that in whatever we experience, in whatever may trouble us, in whatever distress or threat we feel, we need not fear because God is in it with us. Often that presence of God comes through us.

In whatever crisis or issue we face in life, in whatever trouble may come our way, we learn through stories like today’s that the power of God’s love will ultimately triumph and heal this broken Body.  From the midst of the Body of Christ, God will lift up the resources to accomplish his loving purposes, and provide for our needs.

These stories are reminders.  We pray in the Lord’s Prayer that God may give us daily bread.  We learn in these stories that it is we who are to be involved in, not only the receiving of daily bread, but in the giving of it too.

A good image of this is in the context of the Lord’s Supper, especially when we pass the bread around in a circle, or serve each other in the pew.  In that image of receiving bread and then turning to share bread with the person to our other side is the reality of God’s gracious action within the meal: each person is fed solely through God’s grace, but each person also plays an important role in making sure God’s grace continues with the others gathered there.

May these stories of curing and feeding enrich and enliven your day.  May they also be reminders that you play a part in God’s inbreaking kingdom.

-Matt

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