“Give them something to eat yourselves.” Mark 6:37, The Jerusalem Bible
The story of the Loaves and Fishes is the only story about Jesus that appears in all four of the New Testament Gospels. That, in itself, emphasizes its importance.
Whether you believe that Jesus literally fed 5,000 people with 5 little loaves of bread and 2 fishes, or that he used the occasion to demonstrate what can happen when one person willingly shares and others follow, the message is clear: “With God all things are possible.”
All things? Yes, even enough to eat for everyone on earth.
A few weeks ago Paul Taylor heard a sermon based on this scripture that he can’t stop thinking about or talking about. He keeps asking, “What would happen if we all followed Jesus’ instructions to “Give them something to eat yourselves?”
That’s what Sara Miles did. The prologue alone of her extraordinary book, “Take This Bread,” is so compelling I don’t know how anyone could read it without devouring the entire book. She begins by telling how, as a 46-year old atheist, she “walked into a church, ate a piece of bread,“ and “took a sip of wine.” It was her first communion and it changed everything in her life because she took seriously the command to: “Give them something to eat yourselves.” First, she started a food pantry. Then she organized pantries all over the huge city she lives in, to “provide hundreds and hundreds of hungry families with free groceries every week.”
While few of us have the drive or the will to do what Sara Miles has done, all of us can find a way to follow our Lord’s instructions to: “Give them something to eat yourselves.” Taylor, who has volunteered at a local food bank for 30+ years, said that “each day, week, month, and year our organization and similar ones in every county in the U.S. depend on a miracle like that of the loaves and fishes. The size of the need varies,” he said, “and suggested a couple things we can do to get involved.
- Check out the Feeding America website to understand the magnitude of the problem in the U.S.A., and take a look at the United Nations Food Program website for a world-wide perspective.
- Then volunteer to help with local food pantries and feeding programs
- And get out your checkbook to make regular donations to any of the above
Blessings on your efforts to: “Give them something to eat yourselves.”