Sometimes, it just seems like too much to stay up to date on the news. Yeah, some of us feel that way most of the time, but of late, even I, a news junkie, have been wondering how much more chaotic, violent, hope-starved news I can bear.
Truth is, it’s probably always been this way. I’ve often said that if we had a daily paper (and maybe a TV news broadcast) from every town in the world for every day in history, we’d probably understand that humankind – much of it, anyway - has always been hard at work making a total mess of God’s lovely, beloved Creation.
And yet… and yet… the stories behind the stories always are of hope and goodness, wrestling against the tide of our alienation. The Scripture texts for this week include the story of Jacob – who had made his own share of unholy messes in his amazing, deeply flawed life – wrestling all night with God, alone in the desert. He even bungs up his leg permanently in this wrestling match.
Then we turn to the well-known – but little understood – story of Jesus feeding the five thousand with a couple of loaves of bread and a few fish.
I imagine that many of us feel sometimes as if we’re wrestling with God, even if we’re unwilling to give that name to whatever/whomever we’re wrestling with. And maybe we even see that all of humankind is up all night wrestling with the Creator.
And Jesus? His answer to all this struggle is, for starters, to make sure that everyone has enough to eat. Hmmm…
There’s abundant reason to find hope and possibility in the interplay between these two powerful stories. So we gather; we wrestle with the stories themselves. And then we eat. Our symbolic meal, Holy Communion, is spread on the table this Sunday, and we share it because it reminds us that Creation’s final answer is a good one – a story of abundance, compassion, and generosity. We’ve always had it in us; that’s where the sweet storied behind the tragic stories come from.
Be one of us; you already are. Sunday at 10 AM. We wrestle together; then we eat together. And it gets better.
By the way, if you think Communion isn’t meant for you, or you’re just not ready for it, here’s a news flash. None of us are – ever. But we’re all welcome at the table
*“What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6: 8*