In a season dominated by so much bad news, last week’s brilliant MK Can fundraising initiative was a rare bright spot. The people of Milton Keynes gave remarkably generously, more than 100,000 cans were donated to the Foodbank, and, at a personal level, it was very uplifting for many of us to be part of something special.
Today’s bible story is so well known there’s really nothing new to be said about it. But sometimes that’s OK: sometimes all we need is to revisit the familiar but beautiful truths we’ve always known. And one of the great lessons of this story – which, apart from the resurrection, is the only miracle which appears in all four gospels – is this: give what you have. That’s all that God asks. You may have a lot, you may have a little: all that matters is that you give what you have.
When Jesus challenges the disciples: ‘You give them something to eat,’ their instinctive reaction is to think about what they ought to provide. If there were this many people, that would require this much bread and therefore money. And of course, they feel totally overwhelmed. There are thousands to feed!
But they’ve misunderstood Jesus’ point: all he’s asking is that they give what they’ve got – and he will do the rest. As it turns out, what they’ve got is one packed lunch: but in the economy of God, that’s enough.
As we look at our news screens it’s easy for us to feel overwhelmed; to feel that giving what we have makes no difference whatsoever. But this is not how God sees it. God is able to multiply all our small offerings, for his glory and for the provision of those we seek to bless.
Let today’s passage encourage you: all that God asks in any situation is that you give what you have. And may God multiply all that we give in this season, and thus reveal his glory.