Reading: John 6:1-15 The Feeding of the Five Thousand.
I want to ask you one question.
How many people knew where the bread and fish came from?
Think about the scene for a moment. Do your best to imagine what 5000 men sitting in one place look like. It is more people than are to be found in our entire parish. So when bread and fish turn up to eat you ponder where it comes from but do you know that Jesus provided out of 5 loaves and 2 fish? As the lunch progresses then gossip gets back as the story passes down the line. But lets focus on the front row.
You have Philip who is asked to buy the lunch doing the mental sums in his head lunch for this lot would cost almost years wages. Allowing for a basic average wage you are talking around £17,000 (in Scotland in 2011) and as Philip points out you wouldnt get much.
Andrew offers what they do have, a wee lad with 5 loaves and 2 fish. I wonder how many sniggers there were. It would be like me holding up a tenner and offering to my Kirk Session out for dinner (About 24 of them).
Yet Jesus takes the little they have and offers it to God, saying thank you.
“Thank you God that in your wisdom you have provided us with food. I ask that as creator, provider and my most generous Father you would take the little we have and multiply, that all might be fed and give you the glory. Amen.”
How often do we say thank you for the little we have and then offer it to God, praying with confidence that he will take the little we have and multiply it for his glory? How often are we more like Philip worrying about the fact the sums dont add up instead of like Andrew offering what we have?
The Church has become guilty of being like Philip and ignoring Andrew. Lets be grateful to God for the little we have knowing that with God thats all he needs. When it comes to our family, parish, community, and church what can we thank God, offering it up and allowing him to multiply it for his glory?
When the Kirk Session started thinking about this on Wednesday they realised they had a lot to thank God for and the list given was no where near exhaustive. Sometimes we spend more time worrying about what we don’t have that we don’t realise what we do have. The rest of the meeting was a joy despite the challenges and concerns because we knew who was in ultimate control. Forth St Paul’s might not be a mega-church with loads of money or resources, but the little she has is being well and truly multiplied by our generous God.
Offer your little to God and thank him for it. Gratitude is the key. It might be a little faith, it might be something you are a little good at, it might be the resources or contacts you have – thank God for the little and let him do the rest.
May you be richly blessed by our God who just loves to give.