Who’s in charge?

Don Mechlin

After hearing the story of the “Feeding of the 5,000” in the daily lectionary, Don Mechlin is struck by the parallels between the members of the medical mission team and Jesus’ disciples.

[the story I want to tell was] the time when we were experiencing the last of the clinics that we had in Guatemala. And we were taken to a very nice location up in the high, high Highlands of Guatemala for a hotel there and nice meal and jacuzzis and everything else. Anyway, we got together in the early evening in one of the rooms and talked about what we were experiencing and what we were doing there. And there was a certain amount of friction, a certain amount of “We should have” and “Why didn’t we?” and “Who’s in charge?” and so forth. And, anyway, we sort of kind of left it unresolved.

And then we went to a session of Compline for the evening. And the reading from the Gospel – we repeated the one that had been done in the morning prayer, which happened to be Jesus in John’s Gospel feeding the 5,000. And the story, I think, is probably familiar.

But, anyway, at the end of the reading Beth asked, “Does anybody find this relevant?” And I said, “Oh, my gosh. This is us!” Not feeding the 5,000 but we’re medicating the several hundred there, and we have a lot of questions of who’s in charge. And I can just imagine the disciples running around on the mountainside saying:

“Well, I thought Andrew was bringing the fish.”

“No, no. That was John.”

“Who else was supposed to bring the food?”

And “Who’s in charge, here?” they were saying, I think. And that is us. And the pertinent verse that struck me particularly was that Jesus says in 6 and 6B: “He already knew what he was going to do.”

In other words, just relax and let Jesus run the show and don’t try to do it yourself.

Regular Sunday Schedule

8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
9:15 a.m. worship.together (Eucharist for preschool families)
9:15 a.m. Parish Forum & Christian Education (Kairos)
10:30 a.m. Choral Eucharist

Other Days

Morning prayer is offered at 7:30 a.m. weekdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Silent morning meditation is offered at 8:15 a.m. weekdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Mid-week Eucharist is offered at 12:15 p.m. Wednesdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Compline is offered at 7:00 p.m. on 2nd & 4th Wednesdays, in the Church.

Choral Evensong is offered at 5:00 p.m. on 1st Sundays, Oct.-June, in the Church.

We would love to have you join us.


This Episcopal church is located in the heart of the historic neighborhood of Chestnut Hill, five blocks west of Germantown Avenue at the corner of St. Martin’s Lane and West Willow Grove Avenue.

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