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Daily Encouragement - April 2

On Faithfulness

Of what value, would the promises of God be without His Faithfulness and of what value would we be to God, to our families, to the body of Christ, and to society as a whole, without Faithfulness? Absolutely none! The faithful person is one who can be counted on to carry out his or her responsibilities and promises to the best of his or her ability through thick and thin no matter how bad the situation.

Faithfulness is never something we can achieve. We cannot claim that we have arrived. We will not be sinless. Faithfulness is a journey. Just when we have made some progress, we realize how much further we must go. We are following a Lord who challenges us to a higher level of faith than we will ever have by keeping the rules. We can and should respond in gratitude to God’s grace as families and churches who find joy in a new way of living together.

In Mark 6:30-46 with the feeding of the 5000 we have the only miracle found in all four Gospels. Out of this comes a Faithfulness question.

Key verse: (38) “How many loaves have you?”

Reflection: Most of us find ourselves worn out by the demands of life at some point. Sometimes the needs for your time and attention can be incredibly overwhelming. When you add to that the challenges facing our community, our state, our nation, and even our world, it can lead to exhaustion and exacerbation. There are bills to pay, events to attend, teams to register for, deadlines to meet, reports to be done. The list is endless. Add to that the challenges facing our community: lack of opportunity for children in poverty, need for affordable housing, re-segregation of public schools, inequity between “The Haves & The Have-Nots.” And what about the challenges facing the nation? Political polarizations, racial tensions, virus, economic opportunity for the rural poor, evaporation of the middle class, wealth disparity the likes of which has not existed since the roaring 20’s. It is overwhelming.

“How many loaves have you?”

At this point, the apostles lose it. “What do you think, Jesus, that we’re made of money? You want us to go out and by $25,000 worth of food for these 5,000 people?” Can you blame them? I have been there. You are doing the best you can, and the needs just keep coming and you are at your wits’ end, overwhelmed by the problems. How does Jesus respond?

“What do you have?” He asks. He calls them not to focus on what they lack, but rather on what they have. They do not have much in the face of the demand.

The question “What do you have?”, I see as a “one-liner” direction for the Church. The Church will never have enough however God will still use them if they have Faithfulness in their actions, beliefs.

Lord, why do we forget this? What is it about us that we fail to live our lives in full response to your grace and majesty? Why do we narrow it all down and put it in such small boxes when it is so big and so grand and so wonderful? Why do we miss the whole point while we are fumbling around with crumbs? Faithfulness that one word we forget, why we do not know, may we put aside our need to check off everything that might make us perfect and good, and accept your grace that enters our imperfect lives and binds us together as your people. Help us laugh at ourselves and move forward in hope. We acknowledge your name above all names and pray for your kingdom to come and your will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven! Amen.

Bob Simril

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