“How many loaves of bread do you have?” —Matthew 15:34
“Remember the fish and the loaves / how love has a math of its own… What you’ve got / is more than enough / when God gets a hold / of what you’ve got… ” I love the song “What You Got,” sung by Billy Crockett; it’s a sermon about the fish and the loaves in musical form. (You can find it on YouTube.)
The version in today’s Gospel reading from Matthew is full of Jesus’ graciousness: his patience to heal crowds of sick and injured people, his empathy for their hunger, and his eagerness to show his disciples that he can work with whatever they have as a starting point, even if it’s just seven loaves of bread and a few small fish. He doesn’t question why they have so little or shame them for not coming up with more food to begin with. He doesn’t ridicule them for their lack of faith; he simply takes what they’ve got and multiplies it until it’s enough for everyone.
How often do we assume that what we’ve got (time, energy, money, resources, skills, education) is not enough to do what God is asking of us? We may think we don’t have the strength we need to help our child through a challenging time, or we don’t have the energy to re-commit to a broken relationship. Maybe we doubt we will have enough to make this month’s rent, or we presume we aren’t the right one for a job or volunteer position because we don’t have formal training. What if, instead of thinking we don’t have enough, we presume we’ll always have enough when we offer to Jesus what we have and then let him do the rest? “Remember the fish and the loaves, how love has a math of its own. Because what you’ve got is more than enough when God gets a hold of what you’ve got.”
For Prayer: Offer God your fish and your loaves today, and see how God wants to multiply them to feed others.