It came as a bit of surprise to me when I read the gospel lesson
commended for this year’s Thanksgiving reflection.
Here it is, Thanksgiving week.
I expected to see something about giving thanks, about GRATITUDE.
Instead, we get this story of ANXIETY
from the gospel of John.
Jesus followers were, well, following Jesus.
He had been teaching them, as he does
and this disciples were helping him, as they do.
Jesus had just fed the crowds. Five Thousand plus, they say.
It was a miracle. Baskets of fish and bread left over.
The people had settled in for the night, to rest, to recover.
All was balanced. Settled.
Then there is a disruption.
Jesus crossed the lake, on his own.
The disciples crossed a rough sea to be with him.
And that crowd….they woke up and found their teacher and his entourage gone.
This was before the days of texting
When you could let people know you’ve slipped away to buy some bread at the store.
So we have this story:
A worried people, searching for Jesus.
They find him.
They ask him where he’d gone.
And we have this teaching about God providing for us
About our need not to work for things that perish
But about lasting things, important things,
Things like justice and love and righteousness
That mark this realm of God that Jesus has come to proclaim.
Not just when we’re feeling safe.
Not just when all things are tied up and neatly secure.
Jesus was teaching about God providing for us and our needs, all the time.
In good times. And in challenging times.
I am the bread of Life…Jesus says.
You learned I could address your actual hunger,
back on the other side of the stormy sea
But here, know that I will always be there for you
So you will never hunger for love, for acceptance, for a caring heart again…
It’s a great story.
Just one question, you might ask:
What does that have to do with turkey and pumpkin pie?
Well, not so much, you might argue.