Scripture: Mark 6:30-46
Key verse: (39) Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass.
Reflection What did Jesus look like? Not important to the Biblical writers. What did he do during those missing teen years? Who cares, apparently. What happened to Joseph? Move on. Ok. What color was the grass when Jesus fed five thousand people? Oh, that’s easy — green. Green? That’s not just an educated guess based on most grass being in fact, green, that’s also a quote straight out of scripture. With all of the adjectives and details that I long for scripture to be filled with the color of the grass trampled by the thousands of hungry people is not high on my wish list yet there it is in all its verdurous splendor.
Given its economical approach to adjectives why does scripture makes reference to what is obvious? Was the sky also blue and were the roses red? But seeing as how Jesus felt compassion for the crowd because they were like a sheep without a shepherd, maybe the green grass ushered in the green pastures of the twenty-third psalm, reminding us all that God is a faithful shepherd who provides what we need.
Maybe too the green grass was a reminder that when Jesus, unlike a shepherd, said to the disciples “you give them something to eat” he wasn’t being unkind or callous but reminding the disciples that they were starving in the midst of a lush field; they couldn’t find what was in fact at their very feet. I don’t mean they should eat grass, they weren’t hipsters, but rather that a rich creation that can sustain us was all around them. Green grass is a tangible reminder of an abundant world that has enough for all.
Prayer: Lord you who provide and provoke, it should not surprise us that you fed five thousand people — you have fed us all every day from the bounty of your creation. May we see the green grass of your grace and love this day and in finding it rest upon it. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Author: Derek Macleod
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].