Thursday, January 17, 2013

MODERN LOAVES AND FISH


Since 1997 New Song Church has been serving meals to our community. The idea has grown from one meal a week to eleven meals a week and distributing fresh produce to all who want it. We now feed a small crowd at breakfast and lunches and up to 180 people for our Friday supper.

When I give people a tour of our Ford City campus and tell them about what we’re doing they always ask, “How do you fund what you’re doing?” The answer often surprises them. We have a congregation of mostly low-income earners that fund the efforts of the church. We get some donations from outside, but the biggest part comes from those who attend the church.

That is miraculous when you consider that our giving usually falls behind the budget we need. We are not rich enough to pay our own way. If it were not for God providing from other sources, we would not be able to do very much. God is faithful to provide us with an abundance of food and manpower from many sources.

Food is a great way to gather people and build community. I wonder how many of us who eat the food give thought to whom is giving it? The church helps deliver it, but it’s really God giving us daily bread. We are not begging God—He chooses to meet the need out of His compassionate heart.

I am reminded of Jesus’ miraculous provision of food for the crowd. He and the disciples gave something that did not originate with them. They took the small donation of the loaves and fish and fed thousands. Did you ever think about the fact that Jesus and the disciples were not able to meet the needs of the many based on their bank accounts or skill sets? The meeting of needs had more to do with what God wanted than with their ideas or resources. It’s still that way.

The food miracle still has much to say to us today. What can we learn about the heart of God by the way He responds to human need? What happens to people who have had a taste of God’s provision?

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