Friday, November 6, 2015

Get up

Matthew 14:13-21 13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. 15 When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves." 16 Jesus said to them, "They need not go away; you give them something to eat." 17 They replied, "We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish." 18 And he said, "Bring them here to me." 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

When I read this familiar passage this morning, my eyes settled on the words "When Jesus heard this" and I wondered what it was he had heard. (I'm lazy, so I let look up the daily office readings for me.) I googled it, and found out he had just heard about John the Baptist being beheaded.   John the Baptist, his second cousin, the son of his mother's dear friend she had run away to when she was pregnant with him.  He tried to take a moment to himself, like a person with feelings, and the crowds caught up with him anyway.  

So how does Jesus react?  He helps them.  

Then the disciples, trying to get him to take care of himself, try to get him to send the crowds away.   What does he do instead?  He tells them to give them something to eat... and then he makes it work.    

This is who God wants us to be like as much as we can.  I imagine on some level it was healing for him to get back to work and focus on something other than his own grief at the loss of his cousin and the preview he'd just gotten of how the authorities treat people who tell them things they don't like to hear.   I imagine it scared him.  Rattled him.  Hurt him.  How does he react?  At first, running away to think. Then the people came, and he had work to do.   

Life is like that sometimes.  Even for the Son of God.  You have to get up (in the Lord's case even when he was dead) because you have work to do.  

Get up.  You have work to do. 


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