Looking Forward to Sunday: Unreasonable Love

Rev. Daniel Eggold

Jul 30, 2020

Readings:

Isaiah 55:1–5; Psalm 136:1–9 (23–26); Romans 9:1–5 (6–13); Matthew 14:13–21

A simple Coptic icon depicts today’s gospel reading. As was traditional in Christian art, Jesus’ outer robe is red, to signify that for us he is royalty. In accord with Matthew’s accounts of the miraculous feeding, women and children are part of the picture.

     Imagine throwing an impromptu dinner party for thousands of people. Looking out at the huge crowd, would you think, “Yeah, we can do this. It’ll be fun!”? Or would you look in your fridge, cupboards, and freezer and become absolutely certain there was not enough to go around?

     It is normal and human to look at the supplies available and make a judgment about whether or not something can be accomplished. It’s reasonable, even! But God’s kingdom is not reasonable. God’s kingdom defies all of our human expectations.

     It is not reasonable that the last shall be first. It is not reasonable that God would pour forgiveness on us when we hardly know how to confess. It is not reasonable that the disciples could feed thousands of people with just a few loaves and fishes.

     Thanks be to God for the unreasonable, unexpected grace we find in the kingdom! May we brim with gratitude that where we see limits, God knows what is possible. When we stare in shock at the Son of God nailed to the cross, we are sure it’s the end of the story, but God knows differently: love and life are unreasonably more abundant than hatred and death.

     When we bring whatever“loaves and fishes” we have in our cupboards to God, God blesses them and makes of them enough. At the Lord’s table, we find the mystery of Christ’s abundant presence in the bread and the wine. At the font, we are joined to the immeasurable, eternal covenant of being God’s beloved through the profuse waters of baptism. It’s preposterous, really, how lavishly, how unreasonably God loves the world! Let us rejoice in God’s unreasonable love and mercy, and join the feast.

Prayer

Glorious God, your generosity waters the world with goodness, and you cover creation with abundance. Awaken in us a hunger for the food that satisfies both body and spirit, and with this food fill all the starving world; through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.