Grace and peace to you, Friends in Christ.

When Jesus talked to the crowds and said, “Very truly I tell you, you’re looking for me, not because you saw signs but because you ate your fill of the loaves,” I don’t think Jesus is giving them a hard time because they wanted more bread – they are hungry, for goodness sake, and he gets that and meets that need by providing food. It’s okay, completely all right even for us, to ask God for help or healing or forgiveness or pick-me-up during the busy week or a challenging day. That’s what the relationship is all about, or should be: Trust one another enough to ask with honesty – trust God enough to pour our hearts out. And so when Jesus says, “You’re looking for me, not because you saw signs but because you ate your fill of the loaves,” I believe he is actually kind of disappointed that people did not expect more – not necessarily more bread, but more than bread.

So why don’t we expect more from God? Why do we settle for less than God’s gift of grace? You know that God hardly ever does what we think God is “supposed to do,” right? And so rather than do what God is “supposed to do,” God actually does the unexpected. And that’s a good thing. Instead of speaking judgment in the face of our drama and self-centeredness, God offers mercy and forgives us and gives us a new beginning. And instead of cheap comfort, God brings the true words of peace – the kind of peace that is beyond our understanding. And instead of resuscitation, as I once read, God offers resurrection and instead of giving us a plain old miracle, God gives us God’s very self. You can’t beat that! So why don’t we expect more from God? Why don’t we trust God just a little bit more?

Grace and peace,

Pastor Romi Abelova