Trinity 7

The Seventh Sunday after Trinity

God is the source of all good things. It’s easy for us to say that the feeding of the 4,000 was only a foreshadowing of the Lord’s Supper, by which He feeds all of us with Himself so that we may be saved. But to people in the middle of the wilderness with no food, it was a miracle their hungry bodies sorely needed. Food never tastes so good as when you’re really hungry.
But they weren’t out in the wilderness to get a meal. They were there because they had a hunger that no one but Jesus could fill – they were hungry and thirsty for righteousness, and only Jesus could fill them. Compared to that, the risk of fainting on the way home was worth it. Their salvation had come, and his reward with Him. Jesus came to bring us God’s free gift – eternal life with Him in heaven.
We live in a world that is hungry for God’s good gifts – to be loved, to be righteous, to be safe and secure. But unless God opens our eyes, we can’t figure out where to get these things, and we chase after the false promises of the world. May God have compassion on us as He did with the crowd long ago, and keep us in His Holy House, where He feeds us with everything we need to be eternally blessed. Let us eat and be satisfied!
The Old Testament lesson is from the book of Isaiah, chapter 62, verses 6-12:
On your walls, O Jerusalem,
    I have set watchmen;
all the day and all the night
    they shall never be silent.
You who put the Lord in remembrance,
    take no rest,
and give him no rest
    until he establishes Jerusalem
    and makes it a praise in the earth.
The Lord has sworn by his right hand
    and by his mighty arm:
“I will not again give your grain
    to be food for your enemies,
and foreigners shall not drink your wine
    for which you have labored;
but those who garner it shall eat it
    and praise the Lord,
and those who gather it shall drink it
    in the courts of my sanctuary.”
Go through, go through the gates;
    prepare the way for the people;
build up, build up the highway;
    clear it of stones;
    lift up a signal over the peoples.
Behold, the Lord has proclaimed
    to the end of the earth:
Say to the daughter of Zion,
    “Behold, your salvation comes;
behold, his reward is with him,
    and his recompense before him.”
And they shall be called The Holy People,
    The Redeemed of the Lord;
and you shall be called Sought Out,
    A City Not Forsaken.
The Epistle lesson is from Romans, chapter 6, verses 19-23:
I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Gospel for the Seventh Sunday after Trinity is from Mark, chapter 8, verses 1-9:
In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him and said to them, “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way. And some of them have come from far away.”
And his disciples answered him, “How can one feed these people with bread here in this desolate place?” 
And he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” 
They said, “Seven.”
And he directed the crowd to sit down on the ground. And he took the seven loaves, and having given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and they set them before the crowd. And they had a few small fish. And having blessed them, he said that these also should be set before them. And they ate and were satisfied. And they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. And there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away.
Miracle of the Bread and Fish, by Giovanni Lanfranco (1582–1647) [Public domain]