Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of Proper 7: Year 1
“And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, ‘It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait at tables. Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word:” (Acts 6: 2 to 4)
Every time this reading comes up in our Daily Office Lectionary I can’t help but refute it. It is not the understanding I have of who Jesus is or what he would have us do. In the Gospel accounts we have Jesus ordering the apostles to feed the people; “But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat:” (Matthew 14:16).
Too often today clergy sometimes see themselves as too important to fulfill the most basic of needs. There are many things that our Lord Jesus did that we, (clergy, doctors, or any vocation), simply cannot do. We can’t cure all diseases, or bring people back to life. But most of us can feed those who are hungry or teach those who want to know what we know. We can buy a hungry person something to eat. We can teach adults to read. We can drive someone to a medical appointment or other place they need to be. We can teach young children to sing songs of hope. We, none of us who follow our Lord Jesus, should think of ourselves as above providing the basic needs of people.
We still need to find time to pray and hear the words of God and meditate on the Holy Spirit of God. But such contemplation should not stop us from the basic and important duty of taking care of those who lack the basic needs of life, or just needs a faith companion. Our love must be shown in how we care for others. We should not send them away or put this labor of love on someone else. Our Lord Jesus is still saying to us, “You give them something to eat.”
Let us live in order that we might love, rather than just live to live, listening to what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John