Today’s Bible reading

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”–Mark 12:41-44

As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

“Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.–Matthew 14:15-21

More thoughts for meditation

This week, we’ve been looking at ways that God calls us to collaborate with him, and these stories might just take the cake. We’ve read about prophets who ran away, queens who needed a scolding to be brave, and the conversion of a prosecutor of Christians to a preacher to thousands. 

I think the beauty of these stories lie in their simplicity. Sure, God often calls us to bold, big action, but more often I think God just wants us to bring what we have. God meets us with our pennies, our loaves and fish, and works miracles. 

These seemingly small acts of faith take courage! Think of the woman, seeing fancy men parade their wealth into the temple, how easy it would be to feel inadequate, to be afraid of mocking. Consider the person standing in a crowd of thousands, how on earth would their lunch make a difference here? 

Suggestions for action

We don’t have to be the smartest, the strongest, the most wealthy – God made us, knows us, loves us, and wants us exactly as we are. God craves a relationship with us, and is constantly calling us to partake in the spreading of God’s good love. 

What are your pennies, or loaves and fish? A tithe to support justice in our community? A talent to share? Your time to encourage a friend in need? What can you bring to the table to share with your brothers and sisters? And before you start to doubt yourself – you are enough.