When Jesus arrived and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Then he began to teach them many things.
Late in the day, his disciples came to him and said, “This is an isolated place, and it’s already late in the day. Send them away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy something to eat for themselves.”
He replied, “You give them something to eat.”
But they said to him, “Should we go off and buy bread worth almost eight months’ pay and give it to them to eat?”
He said to them, “How much bread do you have? Take a look.”
After checking, they said, “Five loaves of bread and two fish.”
He directed the disciples to seat all the people in groups as though they were having a banquet on the green grass. They sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. He took the five loaves and the two fish, looked up to heaven, blessed them, broke the loaves into pieces, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. Everyone ate until they were full. They filled twelve baskets with the leftover pieces of bread and fish. About five thousand had eaten. -Mark 6:34-44
We hear a lot about the commands of Jesus. There’s “love your neighbor,” “Love your enemy,” “Believe in God, believe also in me,” and more. But what about this one: “You give them something to eat!”
Today is Spaghetti Day at our church. It’s when we feed lunch to a couple hundred people who come to enjoy fellowship with each other and to put their lunch money towards a local charity our church partners alongside to serve the community. This year, we will give all proceeds to Crisis Center, in hopes of helping some of the famiilies in our community who need support as they flee domestic violence.
During Lent, we give up what is usually a luxury item to draw closer to Christ. But these families often know what it is to fast, regularly, without choice. So today we feed the 5000- not just those who will come eat spaghetti, but hopefully we pray, those who need basic sustenance for abundant life.
Join us in spirit or in body as we answer Jesus’ command: “You give them something to eat.”