You are invited to join our friends in the Church of Ireland, Rathcoole to celebrate the World Day of Prayer. Venue: The Church of Ireland Church, Rathcoole
Date: Friday 4th March
(Note: Eucharistic Adoration in Rathcoole has been slightly moved and will take place from 7.15 to 8.15 - why not join us for some quiet prayer for making the short trip across the road to prayer in common)
The WDP Committee in Chile sees the theme question, "How Many Loaves Have You?", as an invitation to enter a process that draws us into the Bible, into the context of Chile, and into the real situations of our lives and communities. This year's Bible studies come from 1 Kings 17: 8-16 and Mark 6: 30-44.
The widow of Zarephath story in 1 Kings 17, when a woman's tiny amount of oil and flour do not run out even during a severe famine, has special meaning for Chile and its history scarred by times of extreme exploitation. In four stories told in the service, the women describe critical devastating times when people chose to resist evil by forming community. Feel encouraged to consider times in your country or community when evil was overcome by people acting together for the common good.
We are ready now to turn to the Gospel of Mark 6:30-44, where the crowds listening to Jesus are hungry. The disciples advise Jesus to “send them away … so that they may … buy something for themselves to eat.” Jesus responds by telling the disciples, “You give them something to eat.” It would seem to the disciples that Jesus does not fully understand the situation. Even if they had the day’s wages of 200 men, they could not buy enough bread for this crowd. Nonetheless, Jesus maintains his position that they give them something to eat. “How many loaves have you? Go and see.” The search uncovers five loaves of bread and two fish. This amount among so many people is as meager as the flour and oil available to the widow of Zarephath.
It is important for us to seek out a deeper level of understanding by reflecting on the mystery of the widow's oil and flour that did not run out and the mystery of the feeding of the five thousand. During this year's service, we are asked to form small groups and to answer the question: How many loaves have you? What are your gifts? What can you share?