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In 1980 an unlikely movie hit was released from South Africa. It was called The Gods Must Be Crazy. It told the story of an isolated tribe of Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert, that had had no contact with the outside world. Their whole existence was marked by peaceful, communal living. As the story unfolds, the narrator tells how things had been becoming stranger all the time…..birds with wings that didn’t flap (a small airplane), among other things. One day as the chief was out and about, a strange object fell from the sky, which in his mind meant that it was sent by the gods. It was an unusual object for him. It was shiny and smooth and clear and hard and hollow, all at the same time. He and the tribe discovered many uses for this object and soon it became very popular among the members of the tribe. In fact, they began to fight and argue over it. It caused terrible troubles for the community. Such disagreement and even violence was up to then, unknown to them. So the whole tribe talked about it, deciding that that gods must be crazy for having sent them this evil thing, and further concluding that the chief would dispose of it by throwing it off of God’s Window, a very high cliff, with solid, low hanging clouds beneath it. All of this for a coke bottle thrown out the window of an airplane.
Interpretations are important things, and it is critical we get them right. For the next few weeks, we’ll be exploring the sixth chapter of John’s gospel to be reminded of the meaning of the texts that have so often been misinterpreted or over-interpreted. In this week’s gospel, we hear of the feeding of the five thousand, and the message we’ll take from it is not a fanciful reference to the Lord’s Supper, but the simple truth that when Jesus sees hungry people he feeds them. Period. No qualifications, no requirements, nothing else going on there….they’re hungry and they get fed….by him. Jesus’ enlists his disciples to help. And yes, brothers and sisters, that means us too!