12 When the day was almost over, the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so that they can go to the nearby villages and countryside and find lodging and food, because we are in a deserted place.”
13 He replied, “You give them something to eat.”
But they said, “We have no more than five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all these people.” 14 (They said this because about five thousand men were present.)
Jesus said to his disciples, “Seat them in groups of about fifty.” 15 They did so, and everyone was seated. 16 He took the five loaves and the two fish, looked up to heaven, blessed them, and broke them and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 Everyone ate until they were full, and the disciples filled twelve baskets with the leftovers.
I love hosting. I love having guests over for dinner, I love getting to put my special “Rachel” touches on the evening, I love impressing people with my hosting skills. One guarantee whenever I have guests for dinner is that I will have leftovers. I’m always so nervous to not have enough that I always buy way too much and end up having to eat whatever the meal was for dinner for the next week. It never fails. Since living is Switzerland, my go-to hosting meal is raclette, a traditional Swiss meal of melted cheese over potatoes and pickles. It’s fun, different, interactive, and people can make it their own. I always make the place look as nice as I can with my nicest linens, fresh flowers and postcards from Europe as a take-home gift. I absolutely love having dinner guests.
Whenever I read today’s famous scripture text about Jesus feeding the 5,000, I can’t help but think about this idea of excess. Yes, a disproportionate amount of people in the world suffers from not having enough to eat, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t enough to eat in the world – quite the opposite. God has provided the world’s population with more than enough to eat, we just haven’t distributed the food properly. When I read today’s text, I can imagine Jesus standing there like, “alright, who has more than just their meals worth?” I can imagine a bunch of blank faces, people nervous to admit they have excess for the idea that they won’t have the leftovers they planned on. Jesus had faith in us though. Someone must have stepped up, or else more people would never had stepped up and shared, and the 5,000 would never have been fed.
Jesus having faith in us, in our ability to choose good. Maybe someone would like some Swiss raclette leftovers.
By Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer
What does excess look like in your life? Is it food waste? Wardrobe updates? What would it look like to consciously make an effort to waste less and share more?
Prayer: Dearest Lord, you have called us to share with our neighbor and we admit that this has not always been second nature to us. Forgive us, work through us this day that we may think of the impact our we make on the world each day. Amen.