Today’s Word from Deacon Amy…

“When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, ‘Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.’” John 6:12

Right around the time the new year rolls in, we start to put away the Christmas decorations. Lights come down, nativity scenes get packed away, and trees are carried back outside. It’s time to pack the festivities away until next year.

But what happens to those trees that have adorned our homes for the past few weeks? For some, a new purpose is found on our little farm. In fact, the beautiful trees that graced Trinity’s chancel and narthex were loaded up and transported to our place this week. The branches were cut and shared among our fields. Our goats enjoyed the treat, and even the pigs appreciated the boughs.

I don’t know about you, but I also enjoy leftovers. Meals that provide again and again are much appreciated. These Christmas trees (along with a couple of others that have been donated to us) provided a tasty meal for our critters.

One of the few stories that is found in all four gospels is the feeding of the 5,000. In this familiar story, Jesus’ disciples encourage him to send the crowds away, as they have no way to feed them all. Jesus, of course, ends up feeding the masses with only the small lunch provided by a young boy. What’s most remarkable, perhaps, is that after everyone was fed, the disciples collected baskets full of leftovers. The meager meal, intended to feed one, ended up being more than enough for a huge crowd.

A few years ago, I heard a sermon about this passage where the pastor suggested that the true miracle was in the compassion and generosity of the crowd. His belief was that the boy’s kindness inspired the crowd to share what they had. When everybody contributed from their supply, they came up with more than what was needed. When they shared what they had, all were fed.

It’s hard to say, of course, if the bounty of food that day was miraculously created by Jesus, or if Jesus and the young boy inspired the crowd to provide the meal (which could be considered a miracle in itself). Regardless of the mechanics behind it, the small meal provided by one child and blessed by Jesus became more than enough for a crowd of thousands.

While my animals were not in dire need of a meal like the people in this story, it was the generosity of others that provided a delightful treat for them.

Perhaps this will serve as a reminder for us to be generous with what we have. Sometimes what is considered to be a “leftover” by one is a real bonus for another.

Also, it’s always good to remember to find pleasure in the simple things. Just look at the smile on that pig’s face!

Keep sharing, keep smiling, and enjoy the little things!

Deacon Amy