In those days when there was again a great crowd without anything to eat, he called his disciples and said to them, “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way—and some of them have come from a great distance.” His disciples replied, “How can one feed these people with bread here in the desert?” He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.” Then he ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground; and he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them to the crowd. They had also a few small fish; and after blessing them, he ordered that these too should be distributed. They ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. Now there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away. And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha. Mark 8:1-10
I am often frustrated by leaders who declare the church is dying and hold tight to the funds meant for service. The church as we know it is definitely changing, changing as it does in every era and every generation. We are always being broken and shared to be made new and to be broader and more far reaching. The church has died and been resurrected in new ways over the centuries.
Jesus' disciples know they don't have enough for the crowds. These small minded followers have seen many miracles, but when it comes to money and food they think there will never, ever be enough. They are guided by fear. Today we are guided by fear and statistics. God invites us to put fear aside and be ready to change, to be broken open, shared and made new. Our faith is that of seven full leftover baskets, a faith of miracles and abundance, transformation, not stagnation.
Today I ask God to help me let go so that transformation can happen. May we all see the decline we far as an invitation to new miracles and new life. May we be willing to be broken open and transformed so that the wider world may be fed on God's love.