Mark 8:14-21

14 Now the disciples had forgotten to bring any bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.15And he cautioned them, saying, ‘Watch out-beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.’16They said to one another, ‘It is because we have no bread.’17And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them, ‘Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened?18Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember?19When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?’ They said to him, ‘Twelve.’20‘And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?’ And they said to him, ‘Seven.’ 21 Then he said to them, ‘Do you not yet understand?’

Jesus comes across as totally exasperated in this passage. It’s incredibly tempting for us, then, to roll our eyes as the disciples for their collective inability to “get it.” But before we start pointing any fingers, remember that it all starts with the man in the mirror.

Just as the disciples didn’t “get it,” neither do we. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up in the middle of the night worrying about this or that. Wracked by anxiety, I’ll start to think that maybe God has decided not to show up; that God has abandoned me.

The good news of Jesus Christ is that we are God’s beloved children, even through death. Or, as the Book of Common Prayer puts, “the bond which God establishes in baptism is indissoluble.” Do not let your hearts be hardened. Remember that God is always with you.

The Rev. Jimmy Abbott