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Matthew 14:13-21 and John 6:1-11
They need not go away; you give them something to eat.
There is a boy here with five loaves and two fish, but what are they among so many people?
Jesus had been with the crowds all day, ministering to people's needs. It was getting late - past suppertime. And, frankly, the disciples were tired of dealing with all these people. "Send the crowds away," the disciples told Jesus. Let them go home and take care of themselves for a while. Surely you do not expect us to be responsible for all of their needs.
When a church is challenged with growing needs, it would be easy to say "just send the crowds away" - surely it is not our responsibility to minister to all of these needs. It would be easy saying that to your fellow disciples who are also ready to go home for supper, but don't try saying that to Jesus. Jesus' response was, and still is, clear. "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat."
A crowd of more than 5,000. How can we meet that kind of need? It is overwhelming! As Philip says in John's version, "Six months wages would not buy enough bread for each of them even to get a little!"
Then, seeing the need and determined to do what he could about it, a boy in the crowd gave five loaves and two fish. It must have taken all the composure the disciples had to receive the boy's gift with gratefulness and seriousness without laughing in his face. What are these gifts among so many people?
Jesus took the gift, blessed it - and the crowd of more than 5,000 were fed.
Every miracle begins with a person - with a person making a gift of the best they can offer and asking Jesus to bless and to use that gift. Expect a miracle. The need may seem overwhelming. Your gift may appear to be inadequate to cover all of the need. But all Jesus asks is the best that you can offer. When you give the best that you can to Jesus, then expect a miracle. Expect God's grace to work in and through you - and in and through other people - to accomplish more than you ever imagined.
Action Item: Begin now to think about your part, your gift, in this campaign. No one can do your part for you. No one can make up for your part. You have a part in this miracle that only you can provide. Start the conversation that asks, "Lord, what would You do through me?"