From the Wisconsin United Methodist Foundation – Abundance: Security in God - November 2018
And all ate and were filled; and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men. (Mark 6:42-44 , NRSV)
The story of the loaves and the fishes illustrates God’s abundance. It also illustrates the often seen configuration of Stewardship attitudes in our churches.
The needs of the many are great. It is late in the day and Jesus sees that the people are hungry and takes compassion on them. Then as now, Jesus tells his disciples to feed his people.
The leaders are skeptical. The disciples say, “There isn’t enough. We don’t have enough money to buy bread for all these people.”
A few give generously, sacrificially. In the story, a young boy gives up his entire lunch, a few loaves and fishes.
Jesus blesses our gifts and multiplies them in ways that are difficult for us to comprehend. The few loaves and fishes given to Christ and blessed by him turn out to feed 5,000 with baskets of food left over.
Trygve David Johnson has noted, “that the ministry I serve in Christ pivots not on how much I have or what I can give, but rather on how much God gives by multiplying what I have.”
Often at this time of year, when our thoughts turn to Stewardship, our churches act as if there is scarcity. Tentatively asking their congregants to give a little from their scarcity. The disciples said, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” But, if we have the right Stewardship attitude, then we will experience abundance. “Bring me your nothing, ask for my blessing,” says Christ, “and I will turn it into something.”
So this year, let us boldly invite people to abide in the Kingdom of Abundance.