Dinner Impossible 5000 +
Feeding 5,000 +
Feeding ourselves these day can be very costly! You’ve heard the cost of food like grains and corn has gone up because of “alternative fuel” refineries.
Do you know what the average spending in a week is to eat out normally?
Mac combo meal = $5.00 Pizza slice = $2.50 Coffee/drinks = $3.00
White Spot =$12.00 Chinese mini set meals = $5.50
Friday before fellowship – Mac combo meal
Saturday go out with friends (mall, shopping, hang out) – pizza slice, drink. For dinner, all head to white spot.
Sunday, after worship (before a meeting) – Chinese mini meals
One week’s total = $28. Double for a month’s budget = $56 (per pay cheque) This is assuming you already eat at home and are good spenders! Now imagine you live on your own! How much more would you be spending?!?
Grocery budget: Average $158.65/mnth (basic foods, milk, bread, veggies, muffins, fruits, cereal, fruit juices)
$56 + $79.33(half of grocery budget) = $135.33. Let’s say you have a pretty good paying summer job and have a take home pay of $500 per pay chq. You would have 500-135.33 = $364.67. Doesn’t seem so bad right? But we haven’t accounted for the taxes and tips, the actual higher prices you pay, and the “shopping” like clothes, games, snacks etc.
I hope we can all appreciate our parents or parent. The actual amount they lovingly spend to provide for us! Thinking what to cook or buy for the next meal, each and every day! The extra cost when repairs to the car or house comes unexpectedly. Property tax, hydro bills, phone bills, cell phone bills. And if you and your family is really disciplined and obedient, out of all these expenses you would add another portion for offering to God.
(eg. 10% of 500 = $25) every 2 weeks!
So we come to the story and Jesus says to the disciples “YOU feed them!”. The response came “it would take 6 months wages to feed this one meal! Matthew did exactly what we just did here. He calculated with his normal natural perspective and reasoning! This is probably one of very few miracles that is mentioned in all four gospels(Mark 6:32-44; Lk 9:10-17; Jn 6:1-14). Can you imagine feeding 5,000 people today all at once? (watch clip of “Dinner Impossible” Chef Robert Irvine). With our technology and skills, and staff, this task today is still “impossible” and all in 7 ½ hours! He uses what he has on hand and his skills and creativity begins!
In this parable…I would like to focus on “What do you have”? Jesus wasn’t discouraged or defeated by the fact of the impossible. He asked what they had…5 loaves and 2 fishes. And with that, Jesus gave thanks and the miracle happened before them with 12 basket full of leftovers!
God often begins with what we have. Moses was asked to lead but he had excuses and finally God used what he had on hand…his staff! The instrument to carry out the miracles.( Ex. 14). Again Elisha asked the starving widow what she had which was a small amount of oil and God again gave the miracle of filling all the jars she could borrow with that small amount of oil! (II Kings 4).
People like in these stories and the disciples all see only the size of the problem and the need against little human resources. But God is not intimidated by the magnitude of our impossibilities! In John…the author actually tells us Jesus asked Philip “where shall we buy food for these people”? and his reply was “it would take 8mnths wages! And again Andrew replies how far can we go with 5 barley loaves and 2 small fish?
There are times…perhaps many, God calls us to do a task for Him that is impossible….except for a miracle! And we have to learn that God has the resource if only we trust Him!
The disciples wanted to “send them away!”. As we like to “send away” our impossible situations. We avoid, we make excuses, we reason out of it. But God says to us also “give me what you’ve got! I can use what you have and accomplish the task through you! So give it all you’ve got!
How much time do you give to God? 1 week has 7 days, 168 hours, 10, 080 minutes. There are 1, 440 minutes in one day. Let’s say day starts 12: 00am. 8hrs of sleep = 480 mins. (960 mins. left over) watch a movie (Dark Knight) little over 3 hrs + travel time there and back, round off to 4 hrs which is 240 mins. (720 mins.left over) All 3 meals together, breakfast(20 mins), lunch (30 mins), dinner (60 mins). Total 110 mins. (610 mins.) 7hrs in school (420 mins) (190 mins. left over) Homework/study time/projects 3hrs(180 mins). (10 mins. left over). There’s a whole lot of other stuff we do we haven’t even calculated in! How much time do we give God? In reality…if we don’t discipline ourselves and be purposeful in growing our relationship with God…we just give God our “left over time”. In this parable God shows us His resources are “bottomless”! His abundance of leftovers! But we reverse this and instead of giving Him our best, we give Him our leftover time, leftover money, leftover energy, and leftover talent and skills.
Some of you may be facing an impossible situation. Perhaps at home, at school or your summer job. And you ask yourself “what in the world am I going to do?”. Start with what you have! Give it all to God.
All these minutes used up! What can I do? Make some sacrifices! And use what you have! Waiting at the bus stop? Riding on the bus? 30mins? 40mins? Pray for people around you, pray for those you promised and said you would pray for! Read your devotional journal or booklet. Have a spiritual conversation with your friends…or even start a witnessing conversation with those around you! Praying before your meal, pray a little longer (genuinely). Cut down on some hours of tv and the ones you choose to watch, challenge yourself what that program says and how it conflicts or agrees with your faith, with God’s principles. Criticize it!