I may have written about this before, but it is pressing on my heart to retell it. The story is of Jesus feeding the five thousand. If you have not read it, go ahead and read it yourself and to your children, if possible.  All the gospel writers narrate the story (Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17, John 6:1-15).

This miracle of Jesus feeding the five thousand happened at a sensitive time in the lives of Jesus and his disciples: John the Baptist was beheaded by Herod; Jesus was mourning the death of his cousin; the disciples were returning from their mission trip, in which they were sent to proclaim the arrival of the kingdom; and they were obviously tired from the trip. Given all of that, Jesus suggested that they get away to a quiet place to get some rest (Mark 6:31). The crowds, however, never ceased to follow him. The passage in Matt 14:13 says Jesus withdrew to a solitary place but when he saw the crowds coming towards him, he had compassion over them and healed the sick.  Not only did he heal but in Mark 6:34, he also taught them many things. (My prayer is that our hearts are transformed like our Master’s heart, of compassion).

They lost track of time. It was evening. It was a deserted place with no possibility of obtaining a meal for the folks who had come to meet Jesus. Jesus felt compelled that it would be unfair to send them home hungry.  With all age groups present, some could even faint because of hunger.  He then asked his disciples to feed the crowd.

Phillip was quick in his assessment on the budget needed to feed this crowd: They needed half a year’s wages.  He also assessed that even if they had that kind of money, which they did not, there were no places to take such big orders and cater. Jesus, however, did not give up.  He asked if some of the people were carrying food. Andrew found a boy, who had a small lunch packed “five small barley loaves and two small fish.”  (I want to meet this boy in heaven to get the back story and ask him a ton of questions).

The part of the story that blows my mind is the question that Andrew asks “but how far will they go among so many?” It is a very practical, rational and pertinent question. But Jesus chooses to answer by performing a miracle. That small boy’s lunch fed all of the folks that had come that day. We sometimes feel we have so less (small boy’s lunch box) to offer and sometimes we do not offer that into the hands of the Master. When we do give what we have with joy into the hands of the Master, however small it may seem to us, He multiplies more than we can ever imagine.

In this time of transition into 21H (21 Harristown, Glen Rock), that the Lord has miraculously provided to us, what will you give? Don’t wait for 21H; start in 125 Galway. I am always encouraged when I see new faces ushering or volunteering.  It gives me great joy, it is NOT a small step. The Master can work a miracle. Find ways to contribute to the GRC your local body, ask around, there is never a slump in demand for help needed.

Donald Thampy is a church member and Ruling Elder.  He attends GRC with his wife, Maya and two daughters.
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