Posted by: NCC Poverty Initiative Director | April 5, 2011

Loaves and Fishes: Enough for All

Jesus called his disciples and said to them, “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat…” His disciples replied, “How can one feed these people with bread here in the desert?” He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.” Then… he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them to the crowd. They had also a few small fish; and after blessing them, he ordered that these too should be distributed. They ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full.” ~ Mark 8:2-8

A Place at the Table

Nothing brings a community together quite the way that food does. In this passage, Jesus and his disciples observe that the gathered community did not have anything to eat. In faith and with a spirit of gratitude for what they did have, they offered up their seven loaves and few small fish. Resources poured out of the community that no one knew were there, so there were leftovers by the time the food was circulated among the crowd.

This group of parishioners at Blessed Sacrament Church in Chevy Chase, Maryland is cleaning up garden plots that will grow fresh produce for a local food pantry. The garden is in the once un-used space behind the church rectory.

As we learn in the story of the loaves and fishes, communities are full of yet-to-be-realized gifts from God. Heeding the call to live out eco-justice, churches are taking action to create resources the community did not know it had, spreading the abundance God intended. Un-used plots of land are being turned into community gardens, roof spaces are becoming solar energy generators, and Lenten fasting traditions are becoming carbon reduction opportunities.

You can read stories of churches taking action for eco-justice all over the country on our map. These churches affirm God’s message that even when resources seem scarce, there is enough for all.


This blog is part of our Lenten Blog Series, based on our newest Earth Day Sunday education and worship resource on community called Where Two or More Are Gathered: Eco-Justice as Community.  Download the Earth Day resource here.

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