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Jesus and the Loaves and Fishes: A UU Telling

Jesus had not been speaking long—at least so it had seemed with all who were there, yet the day was now almost wholly spent. As the afternoon shadows crept over the hillside the air had begun to chill.

Two of his disciples stepped quietly up to Jesus and said: "Send the crowd away so that they can go into town before it is too late and buy food for themselves."

But Jesus answered: "Is there need for them to go away? Can we not give them food?"

Philip answered in amazement: "Shall we go and buy two hundred shillings' worth of bread and give them to eat?"

"How many loaves are there here among us?" asked Jesus.

A lad, overhearing Jesus' question, stepped forward. "I have five loaves and two fishes. You may divide them."

Jesus smiled and, beckoning the boy to come nearer, he stood with uplifted arms and in a strong voice spoke a prayer of thankfulness to God.

For a few moments afterwards, there was complete silence. Men and women looked wonderingly at each other as if to say: "What are these few loaves and fishes among so many people?"

But presently others in the crowd brought out baskets and bags. All who had shared generously with those who had not. Before long, everyone had eaten heartily and still there was bread untouched. The crowd seemed refreshed and lighter in spirits as their friendliness grew.

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