August 27, 2020
Mundane Miracles

by Rev. Beverly Markham
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed
and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave
them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left
over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full.
Matthew 14:19-20
Today is Friday at about 10 am. I just finished what has become one of my favorite activities during this quarantine. I made 25 sandwiches. A group here in Decatur realized several months ago that more people in town are hungry since the pandemic hit. So, they did something about it. They met with the organizations that were usually feeding hungry people but couldn’t because they were shut down, they found out what’s needed, and they started a sign-up genius to get volunteers to fill the gap. I found out about this a few weeks ago when a neighborhood friend forwarded the sign-up genius and I signed up for a sandwich making shift. I had no idea how much I would love making 25 sandwiches. So now, I sign up for a Friday whenever I can, and I make 25 sandwiches that I drop off in some lady named Jen’s garage at 11 am.

This morning I began to wonder if this is what it feels like to be part of a miracle. To be honest, it doesn’t feel very miraculous. So much of this is incredibly mundane… buying sandwich meat, bread and cheese at Kroger, cleaning my counter top to make sure I don’t pass on any germs. I count bread slices and turkey and ham and cheese slices to make sure every sandwich has enough. I guess counting what you need vs. what you have is in the Bible, but this isn’t something Jesus seems to care about – only the disciples. I worry that maybe the people who will receive these sandwiches don’t like ham or turkey or maybe they prefer a different kind of cheese. I worry that these sandwiches don’t witness to God’s abundance but only to a theology of smallness because they do not have lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, and all of the other yummy toppings.

In my worry, I began to wonder if this is what it feels like to be part of a miracle. When Jesus and the disciples fed the multitude, it all began with the disciples suggesting that the crowd be let go so they could go into town and get something to eat. Jesus said, “They need not go away. You give them something to eat” (Matthew 14:16). I’m sure those disciples were worried. That’s when they started counting what they had, but Jesus was not concerned with their small offering. You know the story…in the end, after dinner, they even had leftovers. When Moses saw the burning bush, God said, “I have seen the misery of my people under Pharaoh… so I’m sending you” (Exodus 3:9).
I KNOW Moses was worried, but you know the story… in the end the people were set free.

I believe that I am one tiny part of a much larger beautiful mundane miracle that’s happening in my town. God saw the misery of God’s people and sent a lady named Jen and her friends to feed God’s people. They created a sign-up genius and through it they are feeding the multitude. This morning I got an update to the sign-up genius. Originally, we were asked to bring 25 sandwiches and 25 bottles of water, but the organizers no longer need the water bottles. They have leftovers they need to use.
God of abundance, give us hearts that yearn to be part of the mundane miracles that you present to us everyday. Open our ears, our eyes, our hearts to your presence walking among us in people we do not know and in the invitations they give us to feed people who are hungry, clothe people who do not have clothes, befriend people who need a friend, and share your love with every person we meet. Amen.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009
770-751-0033 www.alpharettapres.com