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Greetings from Pastor Ben

It’s August, and that means five weeks in a row when the Gospel readings in the lectionary come from John, chapter six which are all about bread. Jesus feeds 5,000 people on five barley loaves and two fish and then, when the crowds follow him around, he explains that he himself is the true bread from heaven that satisfies our spiritual hunger. It’s such an important event that the “feeding of the 5,000”is the only miracle that is told in all four of the Gospels. The crowds that followed Jesus around the Sea of Galilee flocked to him because he had just fed them all until they were filled up and satisfied completely, something that just didn’t happen in that time and place of scarcity.

Like most children, my daughters love animals. We’ve been to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha for each of Phoebe’s five birthday parties, and that’s where I think I found the perfect image to go along with this story. If you’ve been to the zoo, you have probably crossed the bridge over the koi pond, and seen the kids throwing in the breadcrumbs, popcorn, and feed pellets to watch these massive goldfish swarm to the food. I’m sure you get the picture, just a seething, writhing mass of mouths trying to eat the bread that falls from the heavens.

That’s where we find Jesus in this story, surrounded by a mass of people, hungry mouths wanting more bread from this miracle-working man.

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