Would you share your lunch?

John 6. 1-15

Feeding the five thousand

News of Jesus spread far and wide, and people followed him everywhere he went.This
Jesus feeds 5000
particular day it seemed as if everyone wanted to hear what Jesus had to say, men, woman and children arrived to listen.

It was a bit like hearing there was a pop or film star coming. You arrive early to get a good view; you wait for hours to catch a glimpse of the famous person.

They had tried to sneak into a place they wanted to spend some time perhaps they were just doing something ordinary, like shopping. But their fans were tipped off and so the place was full of people watching and waiting for them.

Jesus and his disciples wanted to go to a quiet place. But when they got there the place was already full of people waiting.

But instead of Jesus saying ‘No not today’ I am having a day off. He started talking. It got late and the disciples were obviously tired, they wanted to send the people away. But Jesus wouldn’t have that. Quite the opposite. He told the disciples to feed them.

(John tells us that this happened at the time of Passover, this was when the Jewish people are reminded that God fed the children of Israel during their time in the wilderness, with ‘bread from heaven’ or ‘manna’.)

Philip told Jesus in no uncertain terms that it would cost more than half a year’s wage to feed all the people. Philip doesn’t know what to do.

Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up,“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
Andrew didn’t know what Jesus was going to do with this small offering.  But he knew he had to bring it to the attention of Jesus. 
Maybe this is a reminder to us, that even if we have no idea what to do, the starting point is to bring what there is to the attention of Jesus and hand it over to him with faith that he will know what to do with it.
Jesus took the boys bread and fish, and lifted it up and gave thanks to God for the small offering. He told his disciples to ask the people to sit down on the grassy hillside and all the people were fed. With twelve baskets of food left over.

This boy was willing to share his lunch with Jesus without him Jesus wouldn’t have been able to feed so many people.

This boy didn’t realise just how important his small offering was going to be, but he was willing to offer what he had.

We might not have a lot to offer, but I wonder if you would be willing to offer what you have?

I wonder if you were in that situation would you share your lunch?

Each one of us has something to offer, no matter how small.

But it’s not about how much you have to give that is important, it is the willingness to share or give that is more important.

Sharing is something that we being to teach children from a very young age. Sharing their toys, their sweets with others is a valuable lesson.

All the children no matter what their age likes cooking so today is an ideal opportunity to do some cooking with the children.

But it’s not about them taking home what they cook or eating it themselves but an opportunity to share what they have made with the congregation.

A very simple cookie mixture is easy to make in a short time, and they take only 15 minutes to cook and taste delicious!

This makes 24

200g/7oz unsalted butter softened
150g/5oz caster sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
400g/14oz plain flour
  1.  Cream the butter and sugar then add the egg and vanilla and whisk together.
  2. Add the flour and mix together as a dough. Chill for 10 mins in fridge.
  3. Roll out and cut into shapes. 
  4. Bake in an oven at 180C or 350F or Gas Mark 4
  5. For 15-18 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Use different coloured icing to decorate.

Whilst you are waiting for them to chill or cook why not decorate some paper plates to put them on for sharing.

Enjoy sharing them 
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About Michelle Bailey

Reverend Michelle Bailey is the Rural Officer for the Bishop of Brecon and Swansea  She previously worked in Children's Ministry and was ordained in the Church of England. Her blog includes ideas on presenting concepts of faith to young children to the age of eleven and furthering faith development in an educational context. Michelle currently lives in Wales and is also developing a rural ministry blog.
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