Rapprochement, a series (3/5): Devotional, ‘And Multiply’

Preface: This 3rd part of the 5 part series, Rapprochement, is ‘Devotional’. A devotional is a short, structured time of religious study that involves reading, reflection and meditation on a piece of scripture, often ending in prayer. This piece is not a devotional, but like a devotional, it is built off of several references to Biblical accounts in the Old and New Testament, culminating in a posture of prayer towards the designated author/executor of these miracles/Creation, Jesus. For the Old Testament, there’s reference to the creation of man and woman in God’s image. For the New Testament, there’s both reference to Jesus’s miracle of multiplying bread and fish and to Jesus talking with the Samaritan woman at a well. I hope that those familiar and unfamiliar with the accounts will be able to follow! To get familiar beforehand, links to the accounts are at the bottom. Thank you for reading.

 

How did you take five loaves and two fish and feed five thousand people until they were satisfied?¹

What is it like to witness the generation of new matter from itself?

My first thought: human reproduction. The case of an embryo and the division of cells in a mother’s womb–a multiplication catalyzed only at the instigation of sperm and egg, two single cells fused from two to one and then instigated to bear new fruit. To contemplate this fact alone, we cry miracle! The wonders of the natural world! And yes, indeed, there are less intimate iterations of matter born from matter still, but in every case, to multiply is a sign of life!

The bread and fish you multiplied were dead.

Wheat – no longer a plant with roots sunk into the ground drawing nutrients from soil and energy from sun to grow. It would’ve been a season’s time to find fields enough ready for harvest, and then production, to feed a mass as that! We are not told “They ate unprocessed wheat,” pushing up about them in the grass, the miracle a quickening toward maturity for group gathering, processing and consumption. That would make more sense to me, from what I know of limits! But 5,000 pieces of bread from 5 loaves and food to spare to fill twelve baskets? And the flesh of two cooked fish, ‘as much as they wanted!?’

Multiplied.

Before their eyes.

How and why? And how does one live with oneself to write about it twice, Mark and Matthew², unless it is true?

Bread… fish…

Jesus, who are you?

Yet even before the wonder of the bread, wrote John, my Lord approached an outcast woman at a well in Palestine, 2,000 years ago, alone and told her of her life.³

For all your miracles, why are we impressed that you’d transgress even common proprieties as this, to bring good news?

That lonely woman standing face to face with you, a scene of Heaven meeting hellish circumstance, believed. And ran for joy at the words you breathed, Messiah. Testified of your identity to her whole town, and multiplied belief.

This meeting at the well, you called this God’s work; you called it your food.

When we’re to pray, Give us this day, our daily bread, do you also mean give us God’s work to eat instead of feeding selfish will?

Deliverer from hunger. Deliverer from thirst. Deliverer from indifference toward the others of existence,

How did you feed 5,000 men?!
And how did you forgive my sins?!

Meet me at the well as well,
against common sensibility. Its limitations are in question.

Bringer of dead things back to life, abundant provision, wisdom,
tell me what you know of us, man and woman, what we’re meant for,
your reflection.⁴

I have many questions,
like she did.

¹ John 6:1-14 
² Mark 6:30-44Mark 8:1-10, Matthew 15:32-39, Matthew 14:13-21
³ John 4:1-45
Genesis 1:27

 

 

Copyright © 2018 A.M. Wilsonne

 

 

 

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