Joshua and I have been reading through the Lenten Devotional, Sacred Invitation. I've really enjoyed the lectionary scripture passages and the short devotions that the co-authors by Dr. Jesse C Middendorf and Rev. Stephanie Dyrness Lobdell have written for reflection during the weeks leading up to Easter. One of the things I love the most is that after we've both had our devotional time in the mornings we are able to talk about what we read.
The other day we read the scripture passage from John chapter 6. I would bet that most of you are familiar with the passage of the feeding of the five thousand, but I've added it here for you to refresh your memory.
As we began to talk about the devotional from that morning, Joshua pauses and says "Do you know what I've never thought of until now?"
Now this isn't something new... There's often something new that one of us will think of or recognize in a passage that we haven't thought of or paid much attention to in the past. This is when Joshua began to talk about our son, Jude.
Jude will be 3 in just one more month. He has been told many times (especially in the last few months) that he must share. He's had to learn what sharing is all about. He has been taught to share with his sister who now wants to play with all of "his" toys, snacks, blankets, etc. Now we are learning it isn't just Kate that he must share with, but also, cousins, friends, other family members, etc.
Well.... this isn't a fun thing for an almost 3 year old to learn. In fact, I don't know many children at all who like to share. Honestly there are times that I don't like to share. For example, every time we sit down to eat my children have no desire to eat what's been made for them, rather they prefer to eat what I have on my plate. Sometimes I just want to say "NO! You have the EXACT SAME THING on your own plate. I don't want to share!"
We read in John chapter 6 about the feeding of the 5000. In this passage, Jesus asks, where's the nearest place to get food for these people? To which Philip replies that it would cost half a year's wages just to give each person one bite of bread.
Then Andrew pipes in and points toward boy who has five loaves of bread and two small fish...
Can you imagine any kid that would be willing to share their bread and fish with strangers? I know my toddler wouldn't. I can barely get him to share something he has to eat with his sister without an attitude and tears.
I'd like to think that if someone came up to me and asked me for my grocery cart at the store because they needed to use it to feed the thousands of people standing around that I'd gladly give it over, but part of me also thinks I'd be a little skeptical. As I read the story of the Feeding of the 5000 I read it and realize that there's not much mention of the boy other than that he had the loaves and fish.
Would you share? Would you give up your bread? Your home? Your time? Your family?
Maybe not even knowing that Jesus is the one asking for it?
My prayer for the last few days since reading this has been that the Lord would give me a spirit of giving. That when lead to give I'd give without hesitation and without grumbling, but with a spirit of thanksgiving that I would have something that someone else had a need for.
May you be willing to share what you have to feed the few or the many and may the Lord bless it to go farther than you could have ever imagined on our own.