THE FEEDING OF THE 5000 – FEEDBACK
Working at Scargill House it is important we take seriously feedback from our guests. It is also important to see it in context. I wonder- what might feedback have been like 2000 years ago!
A : Got the feedback for the feeding of the five thousand here.
B : Oh, right, let’s have a look.
(A passes a copy to B)
shame we couldn’t have had more worship before the meal - food simple but adequate – suggest a larger team for catering purposes in future - one food technician and twelve waiters did their best, but our group had to wait an hour and a half for bread and fish – might be a good idea to let visitors know that a picnic will be required before setting off on one of these remote outdoor expeditions – shame no mats were provided – should have had mats – my uncle makes cheap mats - not happy about food wastage. My friends and I counted twelve baskets of scraps that could have been used to feed the poor – just a suggestion, if you find an efficient catering manager, the spiritual side will look after itself – better to link up with Mobile Israeli Fried Chicken than rely on one small boy and his lunch – might have found it easier to believe the speaker was the Son of God if his planning had been up to scratch – didn’t appreciate those rough disciples making me sit down with forty-nine people I was never going to get on with – shame we couldn’t have had more worship after the meal
shame we couldn’t have had more worship before the teaching – good message but rather long, and couldn’t always catch what he was saying – heard some of the stories before - not enough comfort and encouragement for my liking - would have been nice to have something for everyone – quite powerful at times, but blasphemy is not big and it’s not clever – didn’t watch the healings because I don’t believe in them - shame we couldn’t have had more worship at the end
wasn’t aware of any entertainment – didn’t know there was any, but if there was, it was a shame there wasn’t more worship before it started - someone did say there was a sort of magic trick going on at the front, but there were at least four thousand, nine hundred and fifty people between my group and the speaker, so we couldn’t see a thing – enjoyed watching twelve disciples trying not to get cross when they were dividing five thousand people into a hundred groups of fifty, best bit of the day - shame we couldn’t have had more worship after the entertainment (if there was one)
WHAT COULD WE DO BETTER?
Wider variety of speakers would be nice, so as to get the bigger picture – prefer it if healings were done
behind some sort of screen – cut
speaker’s time down to leave more time for worship – more worship before
and after everything – more worship
– more worship – more worship – more
By Adrian Plass
As we get older our bodies sag and tighten, but there seem to be psychological -alterations as well. In my case, a rather surprising tightening is a tendency to suffer from claustrophobic feelings.
As a kid I squeezed my body into minute spaces for Hide and Seek, and as a teenager I’d cram myself into the back of a two-door car with three or four others if it meant getting a free ride to the pub. Recently, though, for the first time in years, I was squashed into the rear seat of a tiny car, the large, looming back of a fellow-traveller in front of me, an impassable barrier to the passenger door. Awful pictures filled my mind.
We’d crash. The car would burn. I’d be sandwiched between pieces of twisted metal, unable to escape because the lifeless bulk of my fellow-passenger was blocking the way. I started to sweat and breathe heavily. It was terrifying.
I’m not getting in the back of a two-door car again.
It’s the same with lifts. I was in a small a few months ago in Holland. It was about the size of a large coffin. The thing stopped between two floors and the light went out. For one awful moment I thought I was going to start screaming and kicking against the walls and the door, but, thank God, it started again and the light came back on. I used the stairs for the rest of my stay.
I’m telling you all this to help explain why the resurrection of Jesus is so important to me. Approaching my mid-fifties, I love life, but spectres of old-age, disablement, death keep poking their heads up and grinning at me from unexpected corners like targets in a shooting gallery, I really do rejoice that I’m not trapped in some pathetic little cycle beginning with birth and ending with death and oblivion or separation from God. If I thought the whole complex, beautiful, tragic thing was going to end in dumbness or darkness it would be like – well, a bit like being in the car or the lift.
My belief is that the Son of God has done the thing that sets me - us - free from a doom laden destiny and allows us to go home. Life will go on. There’ll be love, laughter, a meeting of the eyes and the sweet, sweet taste of sparkling spring mornings. Not a hint of religion, nor a trace of narrowness, and as C.S. Lewis so famously said, there’ll be a lot of surprises.