Today we food trucked for the IronPigs, the local Triple-A affiliate of the the Philadelphia Phillies, and for Ripple, an urban Mennonite community in downtown Allentown. Two very different organizations with very different financial situations, but both very important to our community. Both eating, in one sense at least, from the same figurative table, or at least from the same mobile kitchen.
Earlier in the day, I preached on Mark 6:
30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”
37 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”
I don’t usually give my sermons titles, but today’s was “prelude to a feast.” I’d never really stopped at verse 37 before. We’re always so excited by what’s coming next, we tend to miss the simple, direct command: “You give them something to eat.” It’s stark, subversive, and just like Jesus. In the following verses, the disciples feed thousands of people with a few loaves of bread and some fish. The provision is from God, but it’s the disciples who pass out the food. Jesus insists that his people be directly involved in the distributing the blessings — and thus seeing the miracles — of his kingdom.
After the resurrection, Jesus reiterates this point:
“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”
I knew a man who was deep in prayer for his children. “God,” he said, “please bless my children.”
“And you bless mine,” was the answer back.