Thursday, October 12, 2006

Stone Soup

I've always enjoyed the Russian story about stone soup. A group of soldiers passing through town are able to create a miracle. They are able to convince an entire town to cooperate in making a meal to serve a large group. All in the group were feed with a meal that they previously didn't believe they had.
The similarities here to Christ's miracle of the loaves and the fishes are very striking to me. In both stories food miraculously appears out of nowhere. In the case of the stone soup it was just a case of people softening their hearts and looking into their cupboard to share with the rest of the town. In the traditionally interpreted sense Christ's miracle was just magically expanding fish and bread that kept on feeding the multitude. What if this too was more of a human miracle like the stone soup? Would it take away from Christ's accomplishment if the true story was that people simply softened their hearts and shared what they had with the group? On the contrary I believe that it would be more miraculous. I have always felt that the greatest stories of Christ were found in what he inspired others to do. It is not my intention to belittle his miracles. Rather, I believe that the miracles that change the hearts of others are much harder and ultimately more important than the more physical miracles. Magically growing bread and fish is less impressive to me than eliminating selfishness from a multitude of people.


  1. I was scouled at during Sunday school once for making a simmilar comment. And how appropriate is it that Christ told his deciples not to buy more, but that what they had would suffice. So when it was "divided" there were still leftovers. HMM... if I share what I have there will still be leftovers?

  2. I can comiserate. I've lost count of how many times I've been scouled at or even publicly rebuked for suggesting such heracies as "love your neighbor" or in this case "bring enough to share".