Thursday, October 22, 2015

In Need Of Sustenance

The Gospel reading for Holy Communion yesterday was Luke 12:39-48, a strange parable in which Jesus responds (as so often) to a question with a question:

Who then is the faithful and prudent manager whom his master will put in charge of his slaves, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time?

The context is one of Jesus preparing his disciples for his approaching trial and execution – which some would claim demonstrated that he was rejected by God – and thus the implied answer to his rhetorical question is that he is speaking of himself. Jesus identifies himself as God’s dependent servant, given charge of God’s resources in order that he give his fellow dependent servants their allowance of food at the proper time.

In other words, Jesus is stating that he is the one who feeds the household of God, giving to each member the very sustenance we need – of body, mind, spirit – at each and every moment. Through the promise of his word, through his broken body and blood poured out, through his active presence in our midst. For though the context of provision is both communal and ordered, the manager who is prudent as well as faithful will always pay special attention to those of the community in particular need, and adjust provision accordingly.