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Abiding in Abundance

Matthew 24:29-39 tells of the healing of several persons and the feeding of 4000 persons who are following Jesus. The passage says the crowds came and he healed them. He had compassion on them when they tarried with him for days feeding on his words and were obviously hungry. When they were hungry Jesus shared with them the lunch of a child.

As we contemplate the Hope of Jesus’ second coming and to commemorate his birth at Christmas, we see that our abundance comes for being close to God. Jesus filled the hungry bellies, he gave the blind their sight, the lame was made to walk, and the stories are very dramatic. And Jesus still bring healing with drama in our lives. If we pay attention, we see it. Jesus still fills all our needs: spiritual, emotional, social and physical. He fills our hearts with overflowing Joy like the baskets left over, if we choose to stay with him and feed on his spiritual food his words and the physical food with which he continues to nourish

Jesus looked on things differently. In the passage the disciples in particular Andrew saw the problem and the impossible task of getting food in the desert. Jesus said use what you have he used the little resources available to him and solved the problem. One may say Jesus was always optimistic, but Jesus knew the bounty of God’s grace and that he was to show that and through his activities God would be glorified. We may not feel we have the power like Jesus to heal persons. It may not be our gift, but God has given each of us a gift to be used among God’s children in the world and through which God is glorified in our time.

Many of us are from humble backgrounds. We are from homes where 2 or 3 slept on a bed as children, where whatever little was in the house was stretched and shared to ensure we all had. Our parents knew the goodness of the Lord and looked to God in Hope of providing daily needs.

Something noteworthy for me is that although only men were of significance in the biblical Jewish society yet, women and children were mentioned among those who Jesus fed. Women were 2nd class citizens, very often viewed as property but they and the children were mentioned. No one was left untouched and unfed by Jesus. Everyone was given and is given from Jesus’ abundance.

The people who came to Jesus were ordinary people, broken in mind body or spirit maybe broken in multiple ways. Jesus cared for them. He taught them, feeding their hunger for knowledge, spiritual and emotional sustenance and for physical food. He also gave them economic freedom as those persons who were blind or lame could now work and contribute to their families and the wellbeing of society. Our job as followers of Christ is also to help others live better lives. We must touch people and impact their lives in a positive way. We must share out of our own limited resources like the boy. God will turn our work, our time our talent. into abundance for God’s honour and glory.

I want us to note that Jesus did this on a Mountain. Mountains are significant for the Jews as they believed that God lived in mountains. Remember Elijah on Mt. Carmel, Moses on Mt. Sanai, the discussion between the women at the well and Jesus. Thus, we understand that Jesus was in a holy place. Jesus drew near to God in this act of providing freedom for his fellow Jews. Not only that Jesus “called his disciples to him”. Thus we are reminded that our relationship with Jesus and God the creator is important. It is as John says we are in Jesus as Jesus is in the Father. Our relationship is one of constant connection with and in love. John speaks about abiding in God. This abiding and reciprocating love that we have, gives us the confidence, strength and courage to have compassion for the crowd, to be able to heal nourish and forgive those who we meet.

As we wait and watch this advent we do so from the vantage point of abundance from God and abiding in God

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