I've got a new "Opening the Bible" blog entry at i.ucc. It's about some familiar Bible stories (Jesus feeding the 5000 and walking on water) but I've given it a different perspective. The entry is called 'Back in the Day"
Back in the Day
I recently commented to some friends that in order to say, back in the day when referring to past events, one should be able to remember back at least 20 years and have in that memory a picture of themselves as an adult.
This week's Bible passage (John 6:1-21) describes two very familiar miracles of Jesus from the Gospels: The Feeding of the 5000 and Jesus walking on water. I couldnt help but notice the similarity of these events with some Old Testament passages. It is as if the writer or John was making sure the people understood that these miracles Jesus had done were signs that showed he really was the one. Jesus was the one theyd thought about, learned about from their parents and grandparents and heard of the miracles that were so similar to back in the day.
Jesus was with a large crowd of people in a nice grassy area. He wanted to feed them. All that was available was Five loaves of bread and two fish. So he gave thanks and gave the food to his disciples (that sounds like the words that preachers say at communion time!) who then gave it to the people. They ate their fill and there was a whole lot of food left over. I think that event would have reminded people of some back in the day miracles like when God fed the people manna when they were hungry (Exodus 16) and when the prophet Elisha fed a large group of people with only a little bread. (2 Kings 4:42-44)Jesus needed to retreat from the people when they wanted to make him king. He went up to the mountain to pray. (That sounds like Moses in the wilderness!)Then Jesus went and walked on water staying dry while everything around the disciples boat was swirling and blowing. I think that event would have reminded people of a back in the day event where Moses led the people on dry land while the Egyptian horses and riders were swallowed up by the rushing water.
So why remind people of back in the day events as they relate to Jesus? I think it is to show that God is still active with miracles even though many would scoff. I also think it is to show that this time the miracles were from the real, ultimate and complete savior chosen one anointed one messiah that the people had been expecting.
Maybe it can remind us that God is by no means done being active in the world. Jesus is by no means done providing for us and loving us so completely and unconditionally that we probably dont have the means to fully understand it.
Maybe it can remind us, simply, that just like back in the day; God is still speaking,