Friday, January 29, 2010
One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. John 6:8-11
For many years, my mother led a group which fed poor children every week. There were thirty or more children every Friday and they always had more than enough, no matter how many children from the neighborhood showed up. The set up in a church basement and children as young as three would be brought in. When they had a van they picked up the children. There was always enough to send boxes home with each child. The meals were simple and hardy. And there was always dessert. Much of the food was donated by individuals who would drop off food to my mother's home, often coming into her garage and putting the food in the freezer or other designated storage areas. Money was given by many too, as well as several charitable organizations who backed the work. And helpers came from all over. There were no one church group that was exclusively in charge. There was always a small blessing and always enough food for the children who arrived, and always helpers enough for the day.
Jesus is offered a little boys' lunch by skeptical disciples. That already see how they have failed the people and failed to plan for the crowds. Jesus takes the small offering, and after a small blessing, there is enough for everyone. Five thousand or more were fed on one little boys' lunch. How it happened, I cannot say. I just know that it can happen and does happen when faith is active and we offer the little we have, God uses the offering for the many.
Today, I want to be abundantly thankful for what I have. And I want to find ways to offer my portion for the good of others. It is easy to see how much we might lack. And yet we lack nothing, if God is in the midst and we offer what we have for the good of all. May this day be a day of miracles, where the food and the faith stretch and multiply to feed everyone until they have had enough.