John 6:12-13 “When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, ‘Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.’ So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.”
I remember a line from the movie Mary Poppins, “Enough is as good as a feast.” Every one of the thousands of people here had enough to eat, we are told. John even says they had as much as they wanted. Our Lord is not stingy with his gifts.
Jesus revealed just how generous he had been when he had the disciples gather the leftovers, and they came back with 12 baskets full–conveniently one basket of bread for each of them. The situation that began as a crisis of need ended with a bountiful surplus.
I don’t want to minimize anyone’s struggle to make ends meet, but we still live in a land of plenty by and large. Most of us can easily say that we have been given more than enough for our body and life.
And what if we were more careful about picking up the scraps? I have seen the things you can find in a college campus dumpster at the end of a school year–perfectly useful furniture, electronics, even flat panel TV’s! Drive through my neighborhood when people put their bulk trash on the curb. There is furniture sitting in my house right now that came off someone else’s front curb. Think of the food that goes into your refrigerator only to be thrown away later because it spoiled before you thought to eat it. You didn’t really need it for the week or two it spent in cold storage.
Jesus’ words “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted,” expose our sometimes careless way with his bounty. More than that, they expose the surplus he has given us when we take a closer look. And like everything else about this miracle, they teach us you can trust Jesus to provide.
We live in worrisome times for many. The economy may change, companies may struggle, and the banks may fail. But neither Jesus’ power nor his love for you changes, or struggles, or fails. You can trust him to provide, even more than we need.