FOURTH SUNDAY IN LENT (Laetare)
Exodus 16:2–21 or Isaiah 49:8–13
Galatians 4:21–31 or Acts 2:41–47
The Lord Feeds His People
The Lord provided bread from heaven for His people in the wilderness (Ex. 16:2–21). Now He who is Himself the living bread from heaven miraculously provides bread for the five thousand (John 6:1–15). This takes place near the time of the Passover, after a great multitude had followed Jesus across the sea, and when He went up on a mountain. Seen in this way, Jesus is our new and greater Moses, who releases us from the bondage of Mount Sinai and makes us free children of the promise (Gal. 4:21–31). Five loaves become twelve baskets—that is, the five books of Moses find their goal and fulfillment in Christ, whose people continue steadfastly in the doctrine and fellowship of the twelve apostles, and in the breaking and receiving of the bread of life, which is the body of Christ together with His precious blood, and in the prayers (Acts 2:41–47). So it is that God’s people “shall not hunger or thirst” (Is. 49:8–13). For He abundantly provides for us in both body and soul.
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, Your mercies are new every morning; and though we deserve only punishment, You receive us as Your children adn provide for all our needs of body and soul. Grant taht we may heartily acknowledge Your merciful goodness, give thanks for all Your benefits, and serve You in willing obedience; through Jessu CHrist, Your Son, our Lord, who live and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.