When All Are Satisfied
Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass... Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied...
In the above passage from Mark's Gospel, we get a glimpse into Jesus' miraculous "Feeding of the Five Thousand," a miracle that Jesus used to teach his followers something new about the kingdom of God.
The last phrase from the verses above is a beautiful description of how Jesus continually spoke about God's kingdom and what it would look like when the Shalom or peace of God was fully present on earth.
They all ate and were satisfied...
As we are stumbling after Jesus, it's hard sometimes to the world as clearly as Jesus would have us see it. According to Walter Brueggeman:
"We are always sorting out people to see who qualifies for abundance, whether by race, class, gender, character, education, performance, or production."
Recently, I was watching cartoons on the Nickelodeon channel with my 13-year-old son. He's too old for most of the shows on "Nick" but he still loves to watch Spongebob Squarepants.
As we were watching, we saw a TV ad celebrating the power that young girls have in our society to do whatever they want to do. The ad kept using the refrain "See her," as in "See her changing the world... being a hero... leading change..."
When the ad ended, my son was quiet and then softly said, "That was cool."
I was so grateful in that moment that my boy was growing up in a world that celebrated the gifts and power of women, and that he has embraced that as a value.
He is beginning to realize that if there isn't Shalom for everyone, none of us truly have it.
Lent gives us an opportunity to embrace Jesus' desire for all to eat and "be satisfied," for the peace of God to fall upon everyone and all of Creation, as well.
May you live in these last weeks of Lent in the hope of the kingdom of God here on earth---may that Shalom begin with you. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.