Mark 6:30-46, 1 Corinthians 9:1-15
In the third month of the year, few congregations are thinking about next year’s budget. We have enough to worry about now. How are we going to pay for this or that? Where is the money going to come from? Often, such issues lead to conflict within the congregation. As pastors lead their flock in these discussions, they do so understanding they are a significant portion of the expense. Responding to conflict among the Corinthians, Paul brings up the issue of ministerial support. Certainly, congregations are to support the pastor. Yet, pastors are called to serve their flock sacrificially according to Christ’s model.
Through the miracle of the loaves and fish, Jesus teaches us that as we seek his kingdom first, God supplies all we need in abundance. We offer our loaves and fish. God in turn, blesses our offering and returns it to us in baskets overflowing. The riches of God’s kingdom far outweigh our perceived shortages. Congregations, therefore, must recognize God’s blessing. We must become cheerful givers and good stewards. Only then can we rid ourselves of financial worry and get back to the business at hand, proclaiming the saving power of Christ Jesus throughout the world.
Prayer: Gracious God, make us truly thankful, that fully relying upon you we may gather the loaves and fishes from your bounty and use them to proclaim your gospel. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by David Nuottila,
Pastor of Union Lutheran Church in Salisbury, NC.