Thursday, June 3, 2010
Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. Matthew 14:`9-20
When we were young, our parents entertained a good bit, mostly folks from the church and local community. My Mom is a great cook and made special dishes for the crowd. We were in bed too early to be invited to the repast, and were cautioned from eating any of the "guest food" while she was making it. We drooled, and she would laugh and give us more to clean. We would whimper and tell her how hungry we were, and she would shoo us away, letting us watch some rare television so we would stay out of her hair. Our revenge was, early in the morning, we would creep down stairs and eat all of the leftovers we could consume, without getting caught. My weary and exhausted parents would wander down eventually, scold us mildly and hang on tight to their coffee cups. One's abundance shared is some one elses leftovers. We ate the spoils of the feeding of the 5000 as if we were conquering heroes.
Jesus fed the people because he had compassion on them and his disciples were too overwhelmed to come up with a good solution. Like many of us they threw up their hands and went whining to Jesus. They were afraid there was not enough and they would starve along with the crowds. It is not God's nature or desire for people to be without. God's abundance is for us all, and we are invited to trust God to give what is needed, and make enough for leftovers, or for the late and excluded ones.
Today, I want to remember that God's love is articulated in abundance and sharing. God is visible in our giving and sharing and in our compassion for the needs of others. I pray that I can be an agent of God's abundance and work to feed all those who are without. May we all trust God to fill our empty baskets.