Be known to us in breaking bread but do not then depart,
Savior abide with us and spread Thy table in our heart.
We read about Jesus’ miraculous feeding of the five thousand just a few weeks ago. But here in Mark 8, we find Jesus once again providing food for a crowd, and the disciples still not understanding. Sure, He unexpectedly and miraculously provides for the needs of the people, as God so often does for us. But He is also revealing something about who He is— “manna to the hungry soul” (How Sweet The Name Of Jesus Sounds) and the “Bread of Life” who invites us to “come to the feast of love” (Come Ye Disconsolate). This morning we will sing “Food He daily gives the hungry” (Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah—Psalm 146), and implore ourselves to “Praise God and on Him cast your care” (All Creatures Of Our God And King). Though it is found more clearly in the earlier story in Mark 6 (“He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd”), we will turn in the second half of the service to the image of the shepherd, in hymns like Shepherd Of Souls and My Shepherd Will Supply My Need. Though our great need is often our song (as the psalmist puts it in Gently, Gently Lay Your Rod—Psalm 6), we have a compassionate shepherd who supplies all our needs. —Henry C. Haffner
Key Words: Great, Crowd, Eat, Bread, Thanks, Blessed, Seven
Keystone Verse: I have compassion on the crowd. (Mark 8:2)