Wednesday after Septuagesima
Scripture: St. Mark 6:30-56 (NKJV)
6:30 Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. 31 And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.
32 So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves. 33 But the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew Him and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and came together to Him. 34 And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.
35 When the day was now far spent, His disciples came to Him and said, “This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late. 36 Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat.”
37 But He answered and said to them, “You give them something to eat.”
And they said to Him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?”
38 But He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.”
And when they found out they said, “Five, and two fish.”
39 Then He commanded them to make them all sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in ranks, in hundreds and in fifties. 41 And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all. 42 So they all ate and were filled. 43 And they took up twelve baskets full of fragments and of the fish. 44 Now those who had eaten the loaves were about five thousand men.
45 Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. 46 And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray.
47 Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. 48 Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by. 49 And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; 50 for they all saw Him and were troubled.
But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 51 Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. 52 For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.
53 When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret and anchored there. 54 And when they came out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him, 55 ran through that whole surrounding region, and began to carry about on beds those who were sick to wherever they heard He was. 56 Wherever He entered into villages, cities, or in the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well.
Meditation on a text of Holy Scripture according to Luther’s four-fold aspect, namely as a:
School Text (What am I being taught about God?):
God is the sustainer of all mankind—both of body and soul (that is, temporally and eternally). God is omnipotent (has power over all things). Men’s hearts are hardened, unless God overcomes them and reveals His truth. God reveals His compassion through Christ. Through faith in Christ we are not to fear God.
Song Book (For what should I give God thanks?):
For working through the various vocations in society; sustaining me in body and soul (including His work through unbelievers). For His Word and Sacrament Ministry. For drowning my old Adam and giving me a new nature through which He reveals the truth of His Word.
Penitential Book (What sins are uncovered that I should confess?):
That I don’t acknowledge God’s merciful providence as I should—relying, instead, on my merits, or reason and senses. That I treat God as a ‘bread king’ to give me only what I want. That I am more concerned with simply being sustained (in general), while caring for, and being sustained with, God’s proper doctrine falls by the wayside.
Prayer Book (For what does this text teach me to pray?):
For a proper knowledge of God’s Word over my reason and senses. For reliance upon God temporally and eternally.
Collect for the Week:
O LORD, we beseech You favorably to hear the prayers of Your people that we, who are justly punished for our offenses, may be mercifully delivered by Your goodness, for the glory Your name; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.