Gold for Bread by Blitzen Trapper
for Wendell Berry
A Good Fish
by Derek Sheffield
The apostles returned to Jesus and told him everything they had done and taught. Many people were coming and going, so there was no time to eat. He said to the apostles, “Come by yourselves to a secluded place and rest for a while.” They departed in a boat by themselves for a deserted place.
Many people saw them leaving and recognized them, so they ran ahead from all the cities and arrived before them. When Jesus arrived and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Then he began to teach them many things.
Late in the day, his disciples came to him and said, “This is an isolated place, and it’s already late in the day. Send them away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy something to eat for themselves.”
He replied, “You give them something to eat.”
But they said to him, “Should we go off and buy bread worth almost eight months pay and give it to them to eat?”
He said to them, “How much bread do you have? Take a look.”
After checking, they said, “Five loaves of bread and two fish.”
He directed the disciples to seat all the people in groups as though they were having a banquet on the green grass. They sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. He took the five loaves and the two fish, looked up to heaven, blessed them, broke the loaves into pieces, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. Everyone ate until they were full. They filled twelve baskets with the leftover pieces of bread and fish. About five thousand had eaten.
Right then, Jesus made his disciples get into a boat and go ahead to the other side of the lake, toward Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After saying good-bye to them, Jesus went up onto a mountain to pray. Evening came and the boat was in the middle of the lake, but he was alone on the land. He saw his disciples struggling. They were trying to row forward, but the wind was blowing against them. Very early in the morning, he came to them, walking on the lake. He intended to pass by them. When they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost and they screamed. Seeing him was terrifying to all of them. Just then he spoke to them, “Be encouraged! It’s me. Don’t be afraid.” He got into the boat, and the wind settled down. His disciples were so baffled they were beside themselves. That’s because they hadn’t understood about the loaves. Their hearts had been changed so that they resisted God’s ways.
When Jesus and his disciples had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret, anchored the boat, and came ashore. People immediately recognized Jesus and ran around that whole region bringing sick people on their mats to wherever they heard he was. Wherever he went—villages, cities, or farming communities—they would place the sick in the marketplaces and beg him to allow them to touch even the hem of his clothing. Everyone who touched him was healed.
Walk Unafraid by REM
The Lord’s Prayer
birthing forth the river of blessing which runs through all,
Soften the ground of our being,
and hallow in us a space for the planting of thy presence.
In our depths, sow thy seed with its greening-power
that we might be midwives to thy Reign.
Then, let each of our actions
bear fruit in accordance with thy desire.
Impart to us the wisdom to bring forth the gifts of the earth
and share them daily according to the needs of each being,
And restore that which has been usurped
by injustice to its rightful owners,
as we restore to others that which is not our own.
Do not let us be seduced
by that which would divert us from our purpose,
but make us sensitive to the moment at hand.
For from thy fertile soil is born the creativity,
the life-energy, and the dance,
from birthing to birthing. Ameyn.
Wise Old Me by Amy Nelson, with Willie Nelson
May we who have been touched
by the Word made flesh
be God’s body for the world;
God’s hands to bring blessings,
God’s senses to bring glory,
in the promise of creation restored;
and the blessing of God,
the Overflowing Font, the Living Water, and the Flowing River,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.