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Five loaves, two fish and a blue wolf dog

by davesandel on January 5th, 2021

Tuesday, January 5, 2021                   (today’s lectionary)

The Twelfth Day of Christmas!

Memorial of Saint John Neumann, Bishop

Five loaves, two fish and a blue wolf dog

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God. Everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.

We spent the day with Miles and Jasper, while Andi taught her art classes. I hope all the days go as well as today did. Twice a week we will be with them all day, for school and snack and games and lunch and naps and walks and lots of fun. Course we’re both 71 and they are 4 and 1. We’ve weathered 142 years of the wear-and-tear of life, and they’ve weathered 5. Well, 5 ½ to be exact. They have a little more energy than we have. To say the least!

So far, that means that we are feeling younger than we would otherwise. And they are learning stuff. Here’s a bit from Margaret’s notes from this first day, about a moment when Miles felt lonely and sad:

I had two different comfort animals for them to keep here. I explained that blue wolf dog often felt scared and alone, and would love to be comforted. Miles carried it quite a while. Then he came and asked a compassionate question about dog. I told him the dog couldn’t talk to say when he felt better, but if you squeezed his belly that meant his heart was better. Miles did make it squeak then, and his face lit up as he made a difference.

Miles and Jasper are raised by two extraordinary parents, full of grace and truth. These kids are smart and beginning to look beyond their comfort zones into deeper things. Well, Miles is looking anyway. Jasper pretty much laughs a lot, eats even more, and is often competent at tasks beyond the expectations at his age.

God sent his only-begotten Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent us Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Our apartment has been furnished largely through the “Buy Nothing” movement. We are so grateful. There is an active chapter in Andi’s neighborhood, and they have helped us get beds, dressers, kid-sized desks, an Ikea chair and footstool … last night after Andi picked up the kids we drove five minutes and picked up the first “receive” in our own neighborhood, a pre-school size beanbag chair that we know both boys will love. How will they be at sharing?

The mountains shall yield peace for the people, and the hills justice. Justice shall flower in his days, and profound peace.

That’s what I’m hoping for, the flowering of justice in our 4 year old and  1 year old. And we will tag along to see how that goes. We’ll all be learning stuff, right?

The Lord has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor and proclaim liberty to the captives … So when Jesus saw us, his heart was moved with pity. We were like sheep without a shepherd, and he began to teach us many things.

Mark shares this story of Jesus’ compassion, and then of the feast for thousands fed by five loaves and two fish. There is much food and filling to be found in the joy of being with Jesus. Jesus encourages the children, and we want to encourage them too. When we took our walk, several neighbors were obviously happy to see us. And when we ate lunch outside on our little patio, our neighbor next to and above us, surrounded by beautiful plants that don’t need to be brought inside for the winter, said hello. She had a big smile. We’ve been admiring her plants. It was our first time to meet.

Margaret apologized for our noisy kiddos, and she said, “No! I am so glad to have neighbors again. Welcome!”

(1 John 4, Psalm 72, Luke 4, Mark 6)

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