“The Story of the Loaves and the Fishes,” adapted by Patti Walzer, M.Ed.
Narrator: Wherever Jesus went, thousands of followers would come to hear him teach and to be healed of sickness. He and his disciples decided to escape awhile so that they could rest together undisturbed by the crowds of people who followed him. So they traveled to a quiet, peaceful place on the shores of the Galilee. But the people heard of this, and when Jesus arrived the crowds of people were already there waiting for him.
Jesus: They are like sheep without a shepherd. (Greets the crowd by shaking their hands and touching others' heads.)
Narrator: His heart was so touched that he went out to meet them. He talked to them with love and understanding. Many were healed and comforted by him. (Disciples beckon Jesus away from the crowd. They talk to him in a circle.) It was getting late and the disciples were concerned. They knew that a good many people had come without bringing any food with them. And they were hungry.
Child 1: It's getting very late.
Child 2: I'm hungry.
Child 3: My tummy aches.
Child 4: We have no food.
Peter: We are far from town here. Hadn't we better send them away so that they may get something to eat?
Jesus: But why do you want to send them away? Why don't you give them something to eat?
James: Well ... We could send them to the nearest town to buy some bread.
Philip: But there are so many people. That would take hundreds of dollars! (smiling) How many loaves do you have? Go and see.
Andrew: There is a boy here who has 5 barley loaves, and 2 small fishes. But, what are they among so many?
Jesus: Bring the boy here!
Andrew: (Andrew brings the boy with his lunch basket.) Here he is.
Jesus: Will you share your lunch with us, little brother?
Jesus: They are enough. (Jesus holds the food high in the air and blesses it.) Thank you, God, for feeding the multitudes. (He places the basket into the box, kneels to pray. The crowd is very quiet now. They look at each other with curiosity and wonder.)
Child 1: Look!
Child 2: A-maze-ing!
Child 3: This is wonderful!
Child 4: There is enough!
Jesus: Pass the food to the people! (Disciples, narrator, boy, and others pass out the broad to the congregation. When all have received a piece of food, they come forward to say communion words.)
Peter: The bread we share this day is sacred.
James: The friendship we share this day is sacred.
Philip: The laughter we share this day is sacred.
John: The stillness we share this day is sacred.
Andrew: For bread, for friends, for joy and sorrow, for the comfort of quietness: Let us ever be grateful and caring.
Narrator: Somehow in a short time, every one was eating! There was enough for everyone and even some baskets to spare! (Holds up baskets to demonstrate.)
Peter: That was a miracle, Jesus! How did it happen? How could you turn so little into so much?
Jesus: I did nothing. Miracles are abundant everywhere. If you just take a look around you, you'll see that the world is full of the blessings of beauty, justice, friendship, and love.
All: So be it!