Thursday, January 31, 2013

Blessing the Small Offering

The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?” And he said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men. Mark 6:30-44

We are visiting our youngest daughter in Boston and took time this morning to walk around Harvard Square. Since I went to seminary here, and she was born here, it is always a wonderful things to walk the old haunts. One thing about the square is that there are always panhandlers and the homeless, asking for help. I saw a wonderful thin today though as most people hurrying on by, ignoring them. An elderly couple, brought out food and coffee to a older bedraggled couple on the street. They took the tray from the little coffee shop and served them. The small offering became a great blessing from the looks on their faces.

The disciples and Jesus were surrounded by a great crowd of very needy people. They gathered there for many different reasons, all needing help, healing and relief. The were hungry and the disciples were overwhelmed by the sheer number. They found a few fish and a few loaves of bread. In the blessing somehow the small became large, the few became many and there was enough for all. We live in a world where there is enough for all, but too many go without. Are we willing to offer our little bit for the sake of the larger good? God invites us today to ponder what we have to offer, what we can share for the healing of our world.

Today ask I God to offer what I have for the sake of the world. What we have may seem small and grossly inadequate, but God can use it. In the offering and the blessing, people are fed and made whole. We each have two hands only but when we all share our little God brings a mighty abundance. May we be those who usher in a time of abundance with our humble little offerings to God.

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