Thursday, July 30, 2009

There are so many meaty stories in scripture that can each stand alone as lessons for living as well as giving us glimpses of who Jesus is. Taken alone they give us at a minimum, lessons to live by. When you pay attention to their context with what was happening around them they get even better.

Take the feeding of the 5,000 (and that was just the number of men present), Jesus feeds them with seven loaves of bread and two fish. When the disciples asked Jesus to send the crowd away to get their own food (they were in a remote area and it was getting late), Jesus, out of compassion for the crowd, told the disciples to feed them and performed this very memorable miracle of multiplication.

What adds another dimension to this act of compassion is when it happened. This massive crowd had basically encroached on Jesus at a time where he had sought out a solitary place to mourn the loss of John the Baptist who had just been beheaded. In the midst of what must have been a deep sense of loss, he acted selflessly and with compassion rather than telling them to go away and let him be alone with his grief. I find it an inconvenience to talk to someone on the phone when I am feeling the need to be alone.

The bridge between these two events helps me to understand the answer that Brent and Deanna gave to the call of Christ at a time of deepest grief when BJ died. They chose to follow his lead and serve others at a time when many would have been completely immobilized in both their hearts and actions. It was very difficult for them to do and many questioned the timing of it, but so many have been impacted for Christ as a result of their obedience.

In a time of deepest sorrow Christ put the needs of others first. Where do the needs of others fall on your priority list on a good day? Something more to think about....



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