Pastor Sally’s Devotional 7/28

Dear Friends, 

Most of us know the story of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes by Jesus.  We often refer to it as the Feeding of the 5000.  This is the only story, besides the passion narrative, that appears in all four gospels.  In fact it appears twice in Mark’s gospel.  One feeding story is for 5000 people and another for 4000 people.  Clearly this event made a huge impact on the life of the disciples.  But did you ever wonder where it happened?

The traditional setting of this event puts it at a place called Tabgha on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel.  There was an early Byzantine church constructed on this site in 350 AD which was enlarged around 480 and included some of the earliest examples of Christian mosaics in this part of the world.  The church was destroyed by the Persians in 614 and the site of the shrine was lost until the land was acquired in 1888 and the ancient church was discovered in a full archeological excavation in 1932.  The mosaic pictured here  is from that 5th century church and was placed right in front of where the altar stood.  You may recall that in the story of the feeding of the 5000, Jesus was offered five loaves and two fish which he then multiplied to feed the crowd.  This mosaic has only four loaves in the basket.  That appears to be because it is assumed the fifth loaf is on the communion table above the mosaic, ready to be broken and shared with the people of God gathered in worship.

We will celebrate the Lord’s supper this Sunday in worship on zoom.  The Lord’s table and Jesus’ blessings for his people are still meant to be shared.  Be sure to join us.  Maybe think of a friend to invite!

Peace,

Pr. Sally


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