John 6:8-13 (NRSV)

8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” 10 Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they  sat down, about five thousand in all. 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets.   

Psalm 138:8 (NRSV)

8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.   

DEVOTION – Sara Matson (Minnesota)

Often I fall into the trap of comparing myself to other people.  When I look at the impact they seem to have on the world, I feel as if I don’t measure up.  One day, when I was feeling inferior, God gave me a new perspective on the familiar loaves-and-fishes story.  Instead of focusing on the miracle itself or on the boy who offered up his lunch, I thought about the woman who might have made the lunch.  I imagined her kneading the dough with work0worn hands, carefully wrapping the fresh loaves and fish in a cloth, and handing the bundle to the boy with a kiss on his check.  To her, these must have seemed such small, ordinary tasks.  How could she have anticipated that the meal she had packed for her son that day would have such eternal significance?

That reminded me of the many ways that God takes our small efforts and uses them to feed people physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  So when I feel that I should be doing bigger things with my life, I remind myself of the loaves and fishes.  My job is to do the task in front of me.  God’s job – God’s delight – is to use them to feed the world.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: What small task can I offer to God today?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, help us to trust you to use us for your purpose.  Amen.