"When they had all had enough to eat . . . [the disciples] filled twelve baskets with the pieces . . . left over. . . ." — John 6:12-13
On Thursday evenings our church hosts a community dinner called “Stone Soup.” It is based on the children’s story by the same name. The theory is that everyone brings an ingredient with them. We decide on a meal plan, and everyone pitches in. Depending on the numbers of people coming for dinner and the donations we receive, we have often prayed for a “loaves and fishes” blessing. No one ever goes away hungry.
I often wonder, How do people match what to bring? And how do the people in the kitchen decide how to use the ingredients and make everything stretch to feed the crowd?
I also have questions about Jesus’ feeding a huge crowd of many thousands. For example, how did they find the little boy in this huge crowd; what brought him to their attention? I also wonder what the disciples were thinking when Jesus saw the five loaves and two fish and then just said, “Have the people sit down,” as if everything was already solved. The impossibility of the moment must have been on their minds.
But Jesus doesn’t seem troubled. He offers thanks and begins to distribute the food, more than enough for everyone.
Though I also have other questions—such as Where did they find the baskets?—I am more encouraged to know that when we bring our small amounts to Jesus, he uses them to be more than enough.