The Power of a Shared Lunch

They came.  All morning and all afternoon they gathered.  They most likely hailed from many different places and together represented a diverse slice of society. 

Some came because they were curious.  Others arrived because they "needed" to be there.  Still others wandered onto the scene completely by accident.  There were those that stopped in order to get something off of their chest.  They had some protesting to do; their displeasure had to be made known.  Many were probably unsure as to why they had come to this place at this time.  Maybe they got caught up in the excitement of a growing crowd.  Maybe a friend or family member brought them.  Or maybe there was something greater at work. 

It really didn't matter why they came.  They were there.

As minutes turned into hours, people began to settle into small groups to talk about what they had seen and heard.  Many shared stories of similar gatherings on similar hills across the countryside.  Others spoke of miracles and wonders.  While they talked, the children ran to and fro in wild games of chase and tag.  On this day, no one was in a hurry and everyone had the freedom to be.  

As afternoon fell into evening, everyone had their attention called to the top of the hillside.  There the rabbi stood.  Above his head he held a loaf of bread.  His voice cut through the rich country air. 

A simple blessing offered for a simple meal.  The bread was broken. The bread was given.

In the same manner, he offered dried fish.

The meal was shared. 

All who had gathered ate; 
one common meal for one common people. 

When the meal was finished, the leftovers were collected and filled twelve baskets.

All present that day were astonished at what had taken place.  
Somehow the hunger of all those gathered was satiated.

In the shadows of the crowd stood a little boy.  

In his hands he held his lunch sack, now empty.  The teacher had asked him if he would be willing to share his lunch.  Perhaps he was honored that Jesus would ask.  Maybe he was reluctant to share.  He gave what he had brought for himself. 

Jesus took what the little boy shared and filled the needs of the multitude gathered. It doesn't matter what actually took place that day or the mechanics of how the miracle happened. It is unimportant if the fish and loaves were multiplied by some supernatural phenomenon or if the people gathered were miraculously compelled to share with one another what they each had brought for themselves. 

Whatever the details may have been, the real miracle was that through one small gift all were fed.

In his small hands a little boy held his empty lunch sack; a simple monument to a spiritual truth. 

The same truth is still at work. Offer what you have, and it will be used it to fill the needs of others.

It's just like our parents taught us.  We should always be willing to share our lunch.


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