Word for Word

by Rev. Lynn Groe

Matthew 14:16  – Jesus said to the disciples, “… you give them something to eat!”
On the first Sunday of August, we heard the parable of Jesus and the feeding of the 5,000 in our scripture lessons. In that lesson, we often focus on the two fish and five loaves, or upon the numbers of people who were fed, or even on the sense of Holy Communion that we feel when Jesus lifts up the bread to give thanks to God.  
But at the very center of this story is a simple lesson on giving! It is a story about stewardship. The Gospel writer John tells us that a young boy gives his sack lunch to the disciples. The disciples give the two fish and five loaves to Jesus. Jesus lifts them up to God (the great giver of all) and gives thanks. Then Jesus turns and gives the fish and loaves to the disciples. The disciples give the fish and bread to the crowd. When they had all eaten and were satisfied, they gather up 12 baskets and give it back to the disciples.  
Certainly giving requires a level of trust by the giver. You want to know that what you give and where you give it is being used in way you wanted that gift to be used. But giving also requires faith. The little boy in this story had no idea how his gift would be used! He simply felt compelled to give! And his gift started a chain of giving.  
What gifts have you to offer today - whether it be at work or at your home or at church? What gifts are you willing to share in faith, without any assurance of the response? Imagine what reaction you might get this evening if you give your spouse a simple compliment when you get home. What kind of reaction would you get from a co-worker if you give them words of encouragement and support. What gifts are you willing to give to the church, to let God multiply beyond our imagination! Your simple gift can start a chain reaction of giving in your household, with your co-workers and in church.
Dear Lord, Help me to give, freely, selflessly, gratefully. Amen.