The Upper Room devotional reflection for Saturday, November 14, 2020 comes to us from Charles Heath of Hawaii
Matthew 14:13-21 13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” 16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” 17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. 18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
My wife grew up in northwest Indiana. Her mother, Miriam, was a teacher and housewife, and her father, Henry, was a farmer and the local postmaster. Their modest home faced the railroad tracks. In 1929, the United States stock market crashed, which contributed to an economic depression. Many people were out of work, and the economy did not begin to recover until years later. Many people had no place to live or sleep and some “rode the rails,” living in boxcars and stopping to eat where they could. Miriam always provided food and drink to those who showed up at her door. Soon word spread among the folks in the cars that they could stop and be fed on her porch.
Miriam lived out the message, “Bring the hungry to me, and I will feed them.” Miriam’s story reminds me of the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand. Jesus fed the people who came to hear his message by turning five loaves of bread and two fish into enough food for everyone. While Miriam couldn’t multiply her food, she knew that she could help feed the hungry. And she did so in the name of Jesus.
Prayer Focus: Food Banks
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for people who care for others in your name. Help us to act when we see opportunities to serve others. Amen.
Thought for the Day: What is God calling me to do to help feed those who are hungry?
— Charles Heath
I have always loved this scripture about Jesus feeding that large gathering who had come to hear him teach about God. Jesus shows us that when we share together, we can indeed feed many who are hungry.
Like Miriam in our devotional from Charles Heath, we can hear Jesus’ lesson in the scripture from the Gospel according to Matthew.
I am anxious for Farmington: First to be able to return to serving Community Dinners on the last Friday of the month because that is one way for us to live out the lesson that Jesus teaches us in this scripture.