Saturday, January 10, 2009
"Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost." John 6:12
Lot of things wash up with the tide. People's careless leftovers, the things that fall overboard and sometimes items lost by accident and weather. People love to comb the edges of the beach looking for interesting objects. Some artists collect driftwood and use them as frames or as sculpture components. Fishermen collect the scads of lost tackle and reuse the hooks are sinkers that are salvageable. Others come with metal detectors hoping to find gold, silver, and coins. All of them are looking to gather up some left behind fragment and turn it into treasure.
For years, I heard the familiar story of the feeding of the five thousand and focused on Philip and the disciples lack of faith, or the little boys willingness to share his meager meal. I often thought how if we just offer what we have to God, it will be adequate for ourselves and for the gathering crowds. But lately, I have been most thrilled by Jesus' words 'so that nothing may be lost". It is hard to imagine that small offering feeding so great a crowd - a true miracle. But even more so for me is the message, loud and clear, that God know every fragment to be salvageable, no matter how broken or battered, no matter how scattered and isolated, God is gathering up the scattered bits a rebuilding us all. Maybe it is my age, or where I have been recently, but this is really good news to me. God's action is not ended in feeding the crowd, but collecting the scattered, the neglected and the broken. Nothing, and no one is to be lost. From the heart of God come this promise that no one is insignificant, and all are desired by God. God considers us real treasure. Jesus is more than just the healer and feeder, he brings the promise of restoration and reuniting. Of love and life highly prized, renewed and restored.
Today looks bleak with snow and ice in the forecast. May we remember those who need to be reminded that God is bringing us the bread we need, and gathering up all the scattered and broken among us and restoring lives. God is treasuring our broken lives and remaking the flotsam into shining treasure. May we reach out to others today with the compassion of a Savior who not only looks to the immediate needs but the profound healing and restoration of us all.