Signs to Strengthen Faith

The Reading for Today: Mark 8:1-21

Miracles happen to strengthen faith, not substitute for it. The Pharisees do not want to have faith in Jesus. Without a yearning for faith, nothing will convince.

The deep sighing from Jesus at their lack of faith translates anastatoo, a Greek word used only twice in the New Testament, here and in Acts 17:6. The latter is in the context of unbelievers’ charges that Christians are “turning the world upside down.”

Jesus’ stomach was “turned upside down” by the faithlessness of the Pharisees. How much it must have upset Jesus to see the lack of understanding of those closest to him!

How is your faith? Do you bargain with the Lord instead of believe and trust God’s providence over you?

The Reading for Today

Daily Bible Breaths

Version for Children and Families

This is the ninth of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B.
Fridays from now until Advent are dedicated to the Gospel of Mark.

6 thoughts on “Signs to Strengthen Faith

  1. Once again we read a powerful scripture. I have read it over and over. Each time it becomes more expressive of the love of God and the weakness and blindness of man. There is a back and forth motion here. Dare I say Yin/Yang? Each part has an echo. It makes it very difficult to know what to focus on, so I start to type and count on God to guide my fingers.

    People, numerous people, are drawn to Christ heart and soul. They are drawn to the point that they neglect physical need. They have come with starving souls and fed bodies. They have stayed as their souls are fed and their bodies starve. They leave with souls and bodies filled to satisfaction. Jesus fills all of their needs with surplus to share. Yes, surplus of food and spirit. Surely a great number of the people in the crowd went and told others what they had heard and experienced. They shared their witness, the love of God, as we are to. Did they understand it all? Probably not, but it didn’t matter. That is what would lead to sharing. If it was simple and common it would not have been something to talk about.

    I have always wondered what was done with the surplus food. It was gathered so it would not go to waste, but then what? Did Jesus and the disciples take it to the poor and hungry? Did they send the crowd home with it? Surely they did not keep any of it, otherwise there would have been no discussion by the disciples about not having brought any bread with them. The food was a gift from God and it was not wasted. We will never know what Jesus and the disciples did with the bread, but wondering about it and meditating on it opens us to so many possibilities. Does that bread continue to be served today? Is it what we eat in communion, a gift from God tht nourishes our souls and bodies as we remember a greater gift?


  2. The facilities of our church will soon to be transferred to another congregation. In the basement lay an old, broken stained glass window. As a memory of the 137 years of the church’s ministry, sun catchers are being made of the glass pieces to give away as mementos of the church—”Gathering the fragments, lest they be lost” (John 6:12).


  3. May the light of God that shined through that window now shine upon everyone who receives a sun catcher, the hands that touch them, and the hands that make them. Sparkling and shifting in the changing light, filtered through the many colors of the glass, God’s light is a custom fit for each individual. The taste of the bread, the warmth and colors of the light, all a gift and a way to remember.


    • Thanks for your prayerful wishes with images that further the symbolic meaning of the broken glass. After years of being buried in darkness, the glass fragments will carry the light of Christ to the members, reminding them as well, that the the real treasures of First Church are in heaven.


How does the Word touch you?

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