Matthew 14:13-21 (click for full reading)
“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. Bring them here to me,” He said. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke the loaves. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.” –Matt. 14:13-21
More Than Enough
(Click on the title above to listen to the sermon)
Jesus fed the 5,000.
I guess most of us first heard this story in Sunday school and were mainly impressed by the way Jesus does this huge magic trick and the story has stuck in our imaginations because of what happened to those five loaves of bread and two fish.
But maybe there’s more to it.
We get hungry for more than food and thirsty for more than drink. Our souls get hungry and thirsty; and when that happens, they have a way of getting our attention.
And the disciples, the church, can only see what they lack: “There is not enough Jesus. Not enough to go around. Not enough money to make the budget or pay the mortgage. Not enough people willing to help out. We don’t have what we need Jesus. Send the people away.”
But Jesus is ushering in a kingdom of abundance, not scarcity. By the end of the story everyone is fed. The disciples learned that day that the presence of Christ changes everything. In the breaking of the bread and the sharing of the cup we are fed and forgiven. In Christ we have all that we need, even more than enough!
Questions to Ponder/Discuss
1. In your experience, has the church spent more energy worrying about what we lack or celebrating all that we have been given to accomplish the mission and ministry we share?
2. Take a few moments to list the resources for ministry your congregation has been given. Don’t forget to consider the wisdom and commitment of elders along with the energy and enthusiasm of children along with assets such as buildings, location, outreach, etc. Does your list surprise you?
3. How do we judge the “success” of our congregation? Should we use membership numbers, worship attendance, budget? Or might there be more meaningful aspects of our shared ministry that should be considered?
This week I encourage you to think about the impact and effectiveness of the ministry of your church in terms of your own involvement. If everyone served exactly like you serve and gave like you give, what would our ministry look like? Be honest with yourself and remember, with Christ there is always more than enough!