Here’s a monologue inspired by the story of the boy whose five loaves and two fish became food for thousands. It was written by Mark Diller Harder.
(inspired by Matthew 14:15-21, Mark 6:35-44,
Luke 9:12-17, John 6:1-15)
It was just an ordinary day – hot and hazy. I had got up really early, before the sun. To get to the boat. To get fishing. I love fishing. The quiet stillness of the Sea of Galilee. The time to just be on my own, to be myself - no distractions, no expectations, no one to bug you or put you down… and usually, no fish either. Out here on the water, it doesn’t matter if I don’t have enough – if I don’t catch any fish. But today was different, I had a few nibbles to start with, and then just as the sun was rising, I caught one, and then soon after a second. These were going to be great in my lunch.
I didn’t want to leave the sea. To go back home, to the chaos just before Passover as everyone is getting ready. I know, they keep saying how important that history is to remember – ‘for our identity’ they say – the Passover in Egypt when we marked the doorposts, the escape across the Red Sea with the unleavened bread, and the way God provided in the wilderness, sending manna from heaven every morning. There’s so much of the story about bread I usually get hungry listening. I knew that today was the last day for me to get my hands on some regular warm fresh bread before the flatbread of Passover – so I grabbed 5 small loaves to put with my fish. This was going to be a good lunch.
It was then that I saw the crowd, all the people - there must have been thousands! I’d seen lots of people once in the city, but here they were – in the middle of no-where where I like to hide out and pass away the time. I finally noticed the centre of attention – a man surrounded by people edging him toward the mountain. Yet he was totally calm, and talking and praying and touching what looked like sick people. I got closer. The man smirked a bit and asked in a loud voice about how they were going to buy bread for all these people to eat. A guy near him looked a little panicky – there were a lot of people. How was he going to get enough money? You can’t buy bread around here anyways. A couple of other guys took notice of my little lunch and soon they were parading my fresh fish and bread around. I was proud of my fish. The man made everyone sit down in the grass. And he prayed – said grace. It reminded me of all those Passover prayers the adults do. And do you know what, he started passing out my bread and my fish down one row and then another and pretty soon everyone was eating and laughing and sharing and having a grand old time. I kind of lost track of time and ate some food myself and then what do you know, they were gathering up leftovers – 12 baskets full. I’d never seen anything like it. I don’t know what all happened that day, and who that man was, but for once in my life, it was me who had enough.
~ written by Mark Diller Harder, St. Jacobs Mennonite Church, January 2010. Posted in the From Our Churches archive on the Mennonite Church Canada Resource Centre website. http://resources.mennonitechurch.ca/FileDownload/12317/Boy_with_5_loaves_and_2_fish.pdf