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Loaves and Fishes

by Blaine Beyer

Remember the story of the little boy who shared his lunch with Jesus? (John 6:1-14)

More than 5,000 people were surrounding Jesus that day, hungry. Jesus knew he had to feed these people. He asked his disciples where they could buy food, knowing what he would end up doing. Philip told him that they didn’t have the money to buy enough food.

“[Another 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?’”

I think we find ourselves in Andrew’s thinking often, especially this year. “Here’s what I have found to offer, but I don’t believe it’s enough.”

Those were exactly my thoughts this year when we began live streaming services. The church was forced to shut down because of the coronavirus and we were scrambling to come up with ideas of how the church could still go on, even with the doors shut. Let me be the first to tell you, WE. WERE. NOT. PREPARED. Neither were the disciples when thousands of people showed up, still needing to be fed.

The first Sunday we broadcast our services on the internet, we did it from a single iPhone, clipped to a tripod in the back of the church. Coming from a professional television background, I felt like this wasn’t good enough. I could only give what I had.

Since that first Sunday in March, God has multiplied our efforts to continue to spiritually feed our parish each week. We are so blessed with an incredibly talented team that works diligently to muddle through each technical difficulty to continue to connect the Body of Christ.

A more tangible example of this is our Outreach Ministry. Some days, I walk down to our food pantry and it looks sparse. The shelves are barely holding anything and I’m always left to wonder how we are going to provide for the families we serve. However, something miraculous always happens. Each Friday, that room is FULL of sacks of groceries. This is all due to your small acts of generosity. You give what you have and it multiplies.

When I reread the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000, I can’t help but think of the ways that God has used the small offerings in my life to do absolutely incredible things.

My encouragement to you is to think of the little things in your life that God has turned into masterpieces. It’s amazing what God can do with faith the size of a mustard seed.

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen. - Ephesians 3:20,21

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