This prayer comes from my reflection on John 6:1-21 which is the gospel reading from the Lectionary for today. This is a particularly apt passage for ‘ordinary time’ in that Jesus takes the paltry offering of one boy’s five flat loves and a couple of fish and uses it to do the extraordinary–feed a crowd of five thousand men (plus women and children). The passage ends with the disciples straining at the oars, four miles from shore. Jesus walks to them and calms the storm.
You are the extraordinary God we follow
and we are wowed that your ways are not our ways
and the things that you do defy explanation and confound us.
We are like the disciples sometimes.
We gladly serve you with the sweat of our brow.
We are grateful for the little miracles we’ve seen and we trust you a little
But you always surprise us with great things.
We are like the little boy.
What we have to offer, may feed ourselves
or us and a friend,
but as we survey the crowds we know that the need is too great
for anything we have. And yet. . .
And yet you take our small offerings, with thanksgiving
multiply it until no one goes hungry and all eat their fill.
Thank you Lord for using us even though
all that we have is inadequate.
But Jesus, we are also like the crowds.
We come and eat our fill, we dine on what you offer
and eagerly and forcefully declare you our king–
on our terms,
But you do not give in to demands
but refuse to be forced.
We feel your withdrawal when we
ask you to be what you have no intention of
being (You are King but not the King we would make you to be).
But in our struggles and straining, you are never far
but come and meet us, walking on the waves when we are out of reach of shore
Calm the terror that rises in us at the sight of you and take us with you where you are going.