Ecumenical Religious Activity on Friday, 29 July 2017
Ecumenical Prayer Cycle: Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico
Supplies: World Map, Bible, Tortilla, prayer points (available from the WCC website)
Bible Reading: John 6:1-15
Opening: Show the world map and ask the participants to find the countries we are praying for today, then say an opening prayer.
After the prayer, show the tortilla and ask each participants to break a piece and keep it in their hands. Make sure everyone has a piece of tortilla, while mentioning that if someone broke a big piece and others don’t receive any tortilla, they are kindly asked to share it.
Explain that a tortilla, which is very common in South America, is very simple and easy to make. Explain how in many areas of the countries we are praying for this week, people are poor and may be unable to have bread, even one as simple as a tortilla. Also, it is quite similar to one of the type of breads that would be available in the time of Jesus.
Read the Bible story.
According to some Bible scholars, the miracle that happened in this story was not a miracle of food multiplication, but rather a miracle of opened hearts. During that time, it would be uncommon for people to travel without having their packed lunch with them. It is more likely that everyone there has some food with them but they are unwilling to share it because they are afraid they won’t have enough. However, one young boy, who is probably quite poor himself, was willing to open his heart and share. Seeing this, and seeing that Jesus received the offered food and prayed for it, opened the hearts of everyone else to also share their food and that’s how they ended up with so many extra food. So the miracle of Jesus was a miracle of opening hearts. Of course, it is also quite possible that Jesus did indeed multiply all the food miraculously. He is Jesus, after all.
The problem of poverty and of hunger in the world, it has been said, can be solved if only people are more mindful of what they are eating: not buying and hoarding food in such excess so that most of the things they stock up end up being thrown away, while the other half of the world suffer hunger.
And so as we eat this tortilla, let us remember that we are called to share what we have. Let us be mindful of what we eat, and let us be willing to share what we have so that others may be filled as well.
(Allow some time to eat the tortilla pieces)
Sing: Bendice Senor Nuestro Pan/Lord Bless the Bread You Have Given
Close in prayer, making sure to pray the ecumenical prayer points as well as other prayer requests you may have.