A Feast for All
Little becomes much in Jesus' hands (Feeding 5000)
A picnic basket
They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. Matthew 14:20 (NIV)
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How many of you enjoy going on a picnic? Oh, so do I! Well, I brought my picnic basket this morning and we are going to use our imaginations and think of things that might be inside if we were going to have a picnic. Let's see, there would surely be sandwiches, chips, cookies, and some soft drinks. Can you think of anything I may have forgotten that you would enjoy eating on a picnic? (Give the children time to tell what they would want to eat on the picnic.)
I think we have enough food in our basket for a pretty nice picnic, don't you? If we had all of the things we mentioned, do you think there would be enough food for our group of children? What if everyone in our church came to our picnic, would there be enough food in our basket for the whole church? What if everyone in our town came to our picnic, would there be enough food to feed the whole town? No way! You couldn't feed the whole town with just this little basket of food.
One day Jesus and his disciples wanted to have some time to relax. They got into a boat and went away to a quiet place to rest. When they arrived, there were people there waiting for Jesus to teach them and heal the sick. Jesus had wanted to rest, but when he saw the people, he loved them so much that he forgot all about being tired. He healed the sick and taught the people about the kingdom of heaven.
Soon it was time to eat. The disciples went to Jesus and asked him to send the people away so that they could get something to eat. "They don't need to go away," Jesus said, "you feed them."
"All we have is five loaves of bread and two fish" the disciples answered.
Jesus told the disciples to bring him the loaves and fish and to tell everyone to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the loaves and fish and looked up to heaven and gave thanks. He then gave the food to the disciples to give to the people. Everyone ate until they were satisfied. Then the disciples picked up the leftovers and there were twelve baskets full! The Bible tells us that there were five thousand men who were fed plus all the women and children.
Can you imagine feeding a whole town of people with one little picnic basket full of food? With Jesus, anything is possible!
Dear Jesus, help us to remember that when we give what we have to you, even a little bit is more than enough. In your name we pray. Amen.