Daily Office Readings for Friday of Proper 26: Year 1
“When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.’ Jesus said to them, ‘They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” (Matthew 14:15 and 16)
I think the disciples forgot one of the most important of Jewish codes of conduct; the hospitality code. Our Lord Jesus has extended this hospitality requirement to not only the disciples, but to all of us who follow him, to all who call themselves Christian.
In modeling this hospitality code Jesus teaches us to depend on God to assist us. After our Lord takes the food, he blesses it before dividing it up and handing it out. We are not alone in caring for others. There is no one we can help whom God does not love. And this hospitality code is not limited to food.
Assisting the needy with a place to shower and sleep (at a safe location), with medical care, and transportation to any of these places is equally important. What we need, all people need. It matters not about where we are or how little we have. God is not about what little we have. God is about how much we care.
Since the beginning of creation God has brought us into a “shared” world; a world in which we humans were the last to arrive and share with creation what was already here. Thus, we are trusted to share with one another to the best of our ability, within reason, and we are not to look for easy excuses to deny others. We must feed them, clothe them, house them and heal them. Let us take our Sabbath rest and ponder what these lessons might mean for us who listen to our Lord Jesus.
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done” (Genesis 2:1 and 2). So, for this evening and tomorrow day my friends, Shabbat Shalom.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John