Today’s reading: John 6:1-21
May we sit at the feet of Jesus
And lay down our judgement and tendencies to point at others
When we have a plank firmly lodged in our eye
Take the pedestals we hold on to
And give us a Spirit of humility
Give us this day our daily rice
As we feast with you
Let us see each other as you see our very beings
I want to show love
Love as you love
Let your spirit empower us
Forever and ever
One of the women from two houses down calls to me
/The Teacher has arrived in our town
He will tell his stories on the hillside/
I am so weary
The children have too much energy
The one I am carrying inside my womb will come soon
There are chores to be done before my husband comes home
But I have heard stories from my sister about this Teacher
They rumor that he is the Messiah, this Jesus
My entire life I have lived for others
Let me take this afternoon and hear what he has to say
It is almost sundown
I sit down in the courtyard in front of our house
My unborn child kicking gently
It was a hot day on the hillside
Little trees to provide shade against the scorching heat
My mind swirls with the miracle I have seen with my own eyes
The other women had been chattering non-stop on our walk back to the village
/He IS the messiah, the Prophet, the King we have waited for/
I do not know if I can believe, but I desperately want to
Our people have searched for so long
We have waited
Is this the time?
God has said that we would not be forsaken
If this Teacher, Jesus, could multiply a bowl of rice and two fish for all those on the hillside today, with each woman carrying bowlfuls more to take home, what other miracles can he do for our people?
My spirit has never felt so full
When he taught today…
Despite the thousands of people there,
he was speaking directly to me.
That day, when Jesus performed his miracle
He saw the needs for all of us
He did not leave any behind
He provided for the spirit and for the body
He fed the eager and hungry
He even gave them more to take home.
Jesus, having the power of God, could have done the miracle by himself without anyone else’s participation. Instead he went on to share the power of the miracle with those around him. In all of these exchanges, Jesus practiced radical inclusivity. From the children, women, and men sitting on the hillside to the boy who gave his lunch to the disciples, all partook in the miracle that Jesus invited them into.
In this Lenten season, how do you view those you invite into your communities, your homes, your churches? Do we see ourselves as ‘helping’ those around us? Or are we sharing rice as equals and sharing the power of the miracle with those around us?
Created by: Symphony Chau
About the author: Symphony (she/her) is an avid reader, part-time artist, and self-proclaimed plant parent. A 2nd generation Chinese-American, she grew up between Northern Jersey and NYC’s Chinatown, where she developed her passion for youth empowerment and anti-displacement movements. Symphony loves all the shows your teenage sibling does, and chances are if she’s not journaling with a coffee in hand, she is forwarding articles to CAAC’s about what’s wrong with the evangelical church. Symphony lives in Brooklyn where she works in communications and public health, forever adding new plant babies to her apartment.
Image by: Sheri Park
About the artist: Sheri Park is a interdisciplinary visual artist, with a focus on video & performance. She completed her undergraduate degree from Union College in 2013, and her Certificate in Theology and Art from Fuller Seminary in 2015. When she’s not making art or at her graphic design job, she enjoys making breakfast, reading, and watching ducks by the lake with her husband in Fremont, California.
About the image:
(photograph by Ola Soler)
paper, net, flowers