Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Other Side of the Sea

After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias.  A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming towards him, Jesus said to Philip, ‘Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?’ He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, ‘Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.’ One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, ‘There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?’ Jesus said, ‘Make the people sit down.’ Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, ‘Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.’ So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, ‘This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.’
 When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself. John 6:1-15

Today is the feast day of Manteo and Virginia Dare. Manteo was the Croatan chief who befriended the English settlers who arrived in Roanaoke, now considered the "lost colony". He was the first Native American person baptized in the Church of England tradition. He traveled to England several times, across to the other side of the ocean to help the settlers. Virginia Dare was the first English born child in the Roanaoke settlement and her baptism is commemorated today as well. Very little is known about the disappearance of this colony, but we remember the generosity and kindness that Manteo provided the weary and hungry travelers that cross the other side of the sea.

Jesus crossed the sea to the other side and a great miracle happened. Despite the small amount of food offered, and the doubt of his disciples, more than five thousand were fed and there were twelve baskets of food left over. These were hungry and destitute people, aching for the love of God. They found the love of God in abundance, as they were filled to overflowing. God invites us today to go beyond our comfort zones, to go to "the other side of the sea" and find abundance and plenty beyond our imagining.

The people of the Roanoke colony found God's abundance in a stranger, Manteo. I ask God to help me go to the other side and seek God's abundance despite my worry and doubt. May we go forth today, trusting God will supply our needs abundantly, and more so.

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