Feeding Those Who May Not Gather

Feeding Those Who May Not Gather
Pentecost 9, John 6:1-21
Confined to quarters by a covid scare
no crowd can gather to be taught or fed –
not that they would, for pews are partly bare
on any Sunday, and though Jesus bled 
for all, not many hear that read.

And yet a hunger lurks despite our meals
which tempt our taste buds with a world of spice.
We’re overfed, and yet it sometimes feels
like emptiness prevails. What foods suffice
to satisfy? What condiments entice?

Though Jesus came to heal, we need to name
the fevered state that threatens life on Earth.
Pursuit of profit cannot be the game
that dominates all sources of true worth,
and sets aside potential of new birth.

Now what have I to share to meet this need
that few acknowledge even in this hour
when illness spreads abroad with frightening speed
despite all these restrictions? Luck can sour
as swiftly as new strains of virus flower.

I try to offer what I have to share –
not loaves or fish – I write for him each word
upon this page. What sustenance is there?
A poem cannot even feed a bird,
yet in his hands it might not be absurd.

Such morsels he might turn to living bread.
He suffers with us, changing us, like wine
from trampled grapes. Now we are fed
by worship shared at home with friends online –
a virtual feast, still sign of the divine.

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