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For a short while before he wrote Peanuts, Charles Schultz wrote a comic strip called Li’l Folks. What I love about that title (and apparently, Schultz preferred it, too: he is reported to have hated the name Peanuts) is the hint at the depth Schultz was aiming at. He did not write comics strictly for children. He wrote about the human condition, the condition that all “folks” must deal with, big and little.

I grew up in a big, Italian family. Thanksgiving dinners, even when it was “just the family,” meant 30+ people. As you can imagine, that many people means a lot of prep work: buying and cooking the food – over several days and in multiple kitchens, gathering plates, moving furniture, sweeping the floors, settling the schedule (do we eat before or after “the game”?) and my favorite, getting the ice.

My grasp on soccer is, at best, average. I've kicked the ball around a little, and I watch a few matches on TV (every four years). During this World Cup, I learned one very important thing: the difference between a worthy win and an undeserved win. Even more so than in other sports, a clearly weaker team can "steal a win" with a last second or a lucky goal. Sometimes, the other team will even score it for you.

Matthew 16 paints the picture of a clearly weaker team, the 12 men Jesus picked to be his "apostles."

Matthew 15:29-39 captures a story that is similar to he story captured in Matthew 14:13-22, but this time, we get even more details on the crowd that had been following Jesus: this crowd included friends and family who had brought Jesus "their lame, blind, crippled mute and many others." But this time, it is not the disciples who first mention the need feed them, it is Jesus. This time, Jesus must teach the disciples not so much about trusting him for the results but to have a heart.

When, exactly, does Jesus work with us? What does the partnership look like. I think that at least sometimes, the part that Jesus plays is somewhere in the middle.