(I hardly ever have a sermon by Wednesday. If you go to Trinity, Milton, don't read this.)
I had an assistant Rector once at St. John’s in Waterbury, Mary Ann Logue, older than me, back then, and a dear friend, who preached one Sunday on the feeding of the 5000.
Her message was that people who had brought food with them to the deserted place were so moved by Jesus’ effort to feed them all with five loaves and two fish that they brought out their food and shared it so that there were 12 baskets full of food left over.
I couldn’t wait to ask her, after the service, where she got that idea.
“From Biblical scholars,” Mary Ann told me.
Well, what was I to do?
Argue with Biblical scholars?
But that’s what I’m going to do today—argue with that point of view.
I want the Feeding of the 5000 to be a miracle caused by God.
I want the five loaves and two fish to be all the food there was.
I want Jesus’ ‘thanks’ for the loaves and fishes to have inspired God to multiply them many, many times so that they could feed everyone and have an abundance left over.
John’s gospel today is about ‘abundance’ and it is good news we need so very much to hear—not just this day, but every day of our lives.
We live in a time of great ‘scarcity’.
“There is NOT ENOUGH” everywhere around us.
There is ‘not enough’ food for people all around the world.
In our own country, there is ‘not enough’ wages or government support so that millions are below the poverty line.
There is ‘not enough’ health care and mental health support to keep everyone healthy in body and mind.
There is ‘not enough’ compassion from those who ‘HAVE’ to reach out and share with those who ‘HAVE NOT’. Two billionaires, you know their names, are building rocket ships to take them and other rich people into space, when that money could do so much good for those in need in our country and around the world.
There is ‘not enough’ equal educational opportunities for all of our children to be given the education they need to succeed in this country.
There is “not enough” commitment from many in our country to make sensible rules about guns to cut down on the epidemic of gun violence killing and maiming our fellow citizens.
With so much ‘scarcity’ around and through us, why do I want to talk about ‘abundance’?
Talking about ‘abundance’ in a time of such ‘scarcity’ seems out of touch with reality.
But I’m talking about God.
Talk about being out of touch with reality!
God is beyond our reality.
God is capable of miracles.
Our God is the God of Abundance—feeding 5000 with five loaves and two fish.
But I’m not letting US off the hook.
Where are the five loaves and two fish we can share like that young boy?
Maybe Mary Ann Logue and the Biblical scholars were right about that—God’s ‘abundance’ comes from our ‘sharing’.
Five loaves and two fish each—that’s all we’re asked to give. And if we give it, God will make it ‘abundant’.
Just five loaves and to fish. That’s all. And it may just be enough.
If we give out of the abundance God has given us, God’s ‘abundance’ will multiply our sharing over and over and over again.
Just like that.
Just like that.
Share into God’s abundance.
Amen and Shalom