23 November 2017
Reading: Psalm 134; Matthew 14-16
19 Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and asked God’s blessing on the food. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave some of the bread and fish to each disciple, and the dicsciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. (Matthew 14:19-20 NLT)
In Jesus’ two recorded miracles of multiplying food (Feeding the five thousand in Matthew 14 and feeding the four thousand in Matthew 15), Jesus asked the disciples what they had in hand and they brought their very limited resources to him. He took their meager supply of biscuits and dried fish and thanked God for it and blessed it. Then he broke the biscuits and fish into pieces and gave it back to them and they took the pieces and broke them again and again and gave them to the people until every one had enough to eat and the leftovers they collected amounted to a thousand times what they started with.
The miracle multiplied the meager resources Jesus’ disciples brought to him and placed in his hands. Jesus thanked God for what the disciples placed in his hands! Jesus blessed what his disciples placed in his hands! Jesus started the miracle by breaking the bread and fish into pieces and giving some bread and fish to each disciple. The miracle continued in their own hands as they walked among the people breaking the bread and fish again and again until everyone had more than enough.
My miracle will begin when I care enough about the needs of others that I bring my meager resources to Jesus. Jesus will be thankful for what I have offered and will bless it and put it back in my hands for sharing. And as long as I keep sharing, there will keep on being enough. I wonder what happens to the leftovers?
Father, Sometimes I’m insensitive to the needs of the people around me (Jesus said, “You feed them!”). Other times I’m overwhelmed by the size and scope and complexity of the needs (Jesus said, “Bring me what you have.”). When I see how gifted and successful others are, I don’t feel what I have is enough to really matter (Jesus took what they brought him and thanked God for it and blessed it.”). I want everything to be pretty much clean and pain-free and in order (Jesus’ miracles involved only broken pieces.). Ok, here’s my dry biscuit and my slightly-smelly sardine. What’s next? Amen.