Mark 8:6

Jesus told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves, and, after saying the thanksgiving, broke them, and gave them to his disciples to serve out; and they served them out to the crowd.

first step in change
process with what is available
there is no waiting
for a second course
third degree
apropos moment

sit where there is grass
stand in sand
lean on a fence
jaw palaver
get to the heart of the matter
each face is ours

with a Hammarskjöldian yes
and subsequent thanks
we feast between
selves and times
hopes and fears
toward larger homes

This crowd of Gentiles has been following Jesus for a couple of days through wilderness territory as he is wending his way back to his homeland. A time of parting has come.

Hospitality has a welcoming component with washing of feet and feeding a hungry traveler. It also has a middle time of mutual blessing. As a parting is about to take place there is a sense that those about to leave should be sent on their way full of needed resources until they can make it to their next stop.

Just before leaving his tour of Gentile territory and returning fortified for deeper and deeper wilderness experiences, Jesus again feeds a multitude.

Of import here is the feeding, not the mechanism of the feeding. There could be a whole feast or, as here, bread, but it doesn’t make any difference if it is a feast or a sharing of a last crumb that has fallen beneath the table. Hospitality is what is done in the most inhospitable of situations. Anyone who has experienced the generous hospitality of the poor or those in a non-capitalist culture knows this act of kindness. In this sense a eucharistēsas is present in every act of partnership, sharing lives and food, and a parting of people still not on the same page but connected deeper than any sign of uniformity can offer.

Whether a formal or informal parting that carries some sense of finality or a middle space between Goodbye and Hello—Sayonara, Namaste, Au Revoir, Shalem/Shalom, Adios or Blessed Be—we are at a tender moment that requires a heightened expression of a yearning for wholeness within one another that goes far beyond a quiet Peace.

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