“… and you may not share your lunch,”
Sister Jeannine stated as she swished out of the first grade classroom at St. Mary’s Catholic School. Her black and white habit perfectly complemented the Oreo cookie sitting in the baggie on my wooden desk. Her footsteps faded down the corridor as Ideftly twisted off the top of the cookie and scraped the cream out of the middle with my two front teeth. Minus the cream, I put the cookie back together, sealed it carefully with my thumbs and forefingers, and peeped at the doorway to make sure the coast was clear. No trace of Sister Jeannine.
I made a quick dash across the classroom to David’s desk. David was my friend and I was willing to break the NO SHARE YOUR LUNCH rule for him. We got along perfectly . . . like peanut butter and jelly or bologna and mayonnaise. I liked the cream, and David liked the cookie. He happily munched his illegal cookie.
Nothing tastes as sweet as forbidden fruit.
Thankfully, Sister Jeannine never caught me breaking the NO SHARE YOUR LUNCH rule. I am sure I also violated several sanitation and hygiene rules with my surreptitious cookie sharing, but children sharing lunches is a tradition that goes back years, even decades. A time-honored tradition.
You might even say it is Biblical . . .
“. . . there is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?” 10 Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.
12 So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” 13 Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten.” John 6:9-13
How often have I felt guilty or ashamed that I had so little to give?
I think, My gifts are so small, how can they make a difference? Did you note Jesus’ reaction? Did He return the boy’s lunch and say, thanks, but no thanks? No. Jesus accepted the small gift and He used it. He used it to feed 5,000 people.
Who else but a child would offer so small a gift for such a great need? Wise, logical adults know five loaves and two fish cannot possibly feed 5,000 people . . . faithful children do not. The lad did not focus on the size of his gift, but on the bigness of God.
What would have happened if the boy had decided his gift was too small and kept his fish to himself? One person would have been fed. But he gave his gift in faith, and thousands were fed. Nourished. Filled. Scripture states they had all they wanted.
How much Jesus do you want?
Keep gifts, one person is fed. Give gifts, thousands are fed.
Many times I have looked at my small gift, tightly clutched in my size 4 fingers and wondered, How can my little gift make a difference? And God asks me to give it anyway, in faith, with all my heart. And so I give my five loaves and two fish and watch for God to feed thousands.
I am glad Jesus never heard of the NO SHARE YOUR LUNCH rule.
Give your gifts. They matter. They make a difference. They are needed. People are hungry. Share your lunch.
- What gifts do you have?
- How are you giving your gifts?
- Who needs your gifts now?
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