The Christian Science Publishing Society brought out a book of poems years ago, poems that had been printed in the periodicals. One that I loved was about Jesus feeding the multitude and I looked it up again as that story is in this week's Bible lesson. Here is how it begins:
Although local planners failed to put a line in the municipal budget for
"multitudes, feeding of",
Jesus and a quite ordinary Hollywood Bowl-sized crowd
from the neighborhood
saw Mind take form in substance, humanly perceived
that cool evening in a desert place.
Another verse says:
Things haven't changed much in two thousand years:
The ratio of prophets to the general population is about the same;
The hunger is just as great;
The Mind-source is just as near.
This poem challenges us to ask "who is my multitude - and where"? It's everyone we encounter in our daily walk, it's everywhere we find ourselves. It's the challenge to understand that as we choose to be more Christlike, freely living that understanding of the ever presence and allness of divine Love, we see that there is enough...enough to meet our own needs...and even for multitudes.
There they were, in a desert place, having spent the day watching Jesus heal all manner of sickness and disease, listening to him teach about God and His love for mankind. Evening had come and he had not sent them home. His disciples, seeing that the day was winding down and that the people would be thinking about dinner, suggested that Jesus should tell them to go to the nearby villages and buy food. His answer was simple...they don't need to leave, you give them something to eat. I can just hear one of them (might have been Peter?) saying, "Here's the thing, we took up a collection and all we got was five loaves and two fish". They had tried to meet the need with a human solution. I'm sure Jesus smiled at this effort. Surely, we have done the same things when faced with the need to come up with a big amount when the need seemed great, turned to human sources and come up short. He just told them "bring them hither to me".
I love how this unfolds. First, he directs the disciples to organzie everyone by having them sit down on the grass. This must have given them a sense of expectation, something was about to happen. Jesus accepted the gift someone had so freely given from what would have been their own little supply of food. (We sometimes have only a 'widow's mite' to put in the collection, but that money was all we had, and we gave it to church) He took the gift and looked up to heaven. Surely, he was praying, cultivating that state of awareness that acknowledges the allness of good. He blessed it, grateful for what it represented, and knowing the unlimited supply available from a loving Father for His children. What happened next is awesome. Jesus did not try to divide that humble meal, he multiplied it, handing pieces to the disciples. Then the disciples handed it to the multitude. And continued distributing pieces until all were filled. And it didn't stop there. He instructed them to gather up the remaining fragments. It amounted to 12 baskets, filled to the brim. That multitude numbered 5,000 men along with women and children.
Mrs. Eddy tells us Soul has infinite resources. We need only turn to Soul, God, to partake. Think of how that crowd must have rejoiced, how much joy they felt. I'm sure when they did go home they told everyone what had happened and what they had been listening to and witnessing that day. That must have rippled out as others sought this new understanding of a loving God. This section of the lesson ends with this: "In the scientific relation of God to man, we find that whatever blesses one blesses all, as Jesus showed with the loaves and fishes, - Spirit, not matter, being the source of supply".
If you find yourself faced with a multitude today, set things up with an expectancy of good, take what you have to work with, look up and be grateful, and then multiply. The ideas will flow easily, the answers will come, the supply will be more than sufficient to the moment. Divine Love will meet your need and you in turn will pass it along. Go to, multitude feeder.
Be at peace.