Friday, January 27, 2012

Packing a Lunch

After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” 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. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!”
Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself. John 6:1-15

As a mom, I have packed quite a few lunches in my day. I tried hard to put nutritious and tasty food in my daughters' lunches. I also remembered, from my own childhood, the amazing ability of children to swap and trade lunches in a hurried frenzy. The smartest and fastest kids would end up with all the good treat and eat nothing healthy at all. And many a packed lunch ended up tosses in the bushes on the way to school. No matter how hard we try, our kids are going to do what they want when out of sight and unsupervised.

I imagine that the mom who sent the little boy to hear Jesus also warned the little boy to eat everything she had given him. She wanted him strong and healthy. What did he do? He shared all that he had with the disciples, who quickly turned it over to Jesus. I also imagine that he tried to tell his mom about the miracle. And Mom probably didn't believe him. Our gospel tells us that if we share the small amounts we have, God will bless and multiply. God will use our small offerings to make great things happen. People might not take us seriously, but God does.

As the rains pours down, I ask God to bless the small drops of faith that we have today. May the little offerings we make today be blessed by God and increased. May our tasks be blessed so that the world might be fed, clothed and brought to warm shelter. May all that we do bring glory to God who has looked with favor on the meek and lowly and miraculously increased the gifts of love and compassion.

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