Celtic Advent Day 10:
Make a meal for someone in need or visit someone who is lonely.
The apostles then rendezvoused with Jesus and reported on all that they had done and taught. Jesus said, “Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.” For there was constant coming and going. They didn’t even have time to eat.
So they got in the boat and went off to a remote place by themselves. Someone saw them going and the word got around. From the surrounding towns people went out on foot, running, and got there ahead of them. When Jesus arrived, he saw this huge crowd. At the sight of them, his heart broke—like sheep with no shepherd they were. He went right to work teaching them.
When his disciples thought this had gone on long enough—it was now quite late in the day—they interrupted: “We are a long way out in the country, and it’s very late. Pronounce a benediction and send these folks off so they can get some supper.”
Jesus said, “You do it. Fix supper for them.”
They replied, “Are you serious? You want us to go spend a fortune on food for their supper?”
But he was quite serious. “How many loaves of bread do you have? Take an inventory.”
That didn’t take long. “Five,” they said, “plus two fish.”
Jesus got them all to sit down in groups of fifty or a hundred—they looked like a patchwork quilt of wildflowers spread out on the green grass! He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread to the disciples, and the disciples in turn gave it to the people. He did the same with the fish. They all ate their fill. The disciples gathered twelve baskets of leftovers. More than five thousand were at the supper.
Mark 6:30-44 The Message (MSG)
Today, just like any other day, be like Jesus. This is not just a lonely time of year for many, but for some it is a time of excess. Yesterday, many of us gathered around a table and feasted until we had to unbutton our jeans. ( Unless you came prepared and wore stretchy pants.) Now, there are left overs taking up so much space in our refrigerators. We often think of new ways to create a meal with these leftovers. My favorite is a tradition handed down to me from my mother. Turkey Noodle Soup! Homemade noodles and all. I also like to make a Leftover Shepard’s Pie. This year, what if we made a plate, new creation or just simply yesterday’s goodies, and visited someone lonely and break bread with them?
Jesus did not just see some fan club chasing him and wanting to be around him, maybe catch an autograph. Jesus wasn’t “Jesus Christ Superstar” to these people. They saw him as hope and healing. Jesus saw them as hurt and hungry. He could have passed them all a plate and went about his way. I’m sure even his disciples wouldn’t have minded that. Jesus saw their pain, loneliness, and hunger and stayed to feed and heal. Jesus understood it was not just their physical hunger and pain that needed taken care of. He saw they were hungry spiritually. I’m willing to bet he saw this as a teaching opportunity for his disciples, as well. He saw they needed to learn to not just feed people food, but to feed their spirits as well.
If you do the Advent action today, try not to just drop a plate off and run. Try to stay and visit. Ask questions, be interested. Heal their loneliness. Be like Jesus.