Skip to main content

the God of leftovers

“Leftovers again?”

It’s a refrain that is sometimes heard in our house, especially after Shannon has prepared several great meals in a row. In those times, we often have a collage of containers in the refrigerator, filled with various elements from the dinners of the last few days: broccoli in the glass container with the red lid, brown rice in the green tupperware, and some pork chops wrapped in foil, just to name a few. Sometimes there is enough of this mishmosh of food to last us for several meals, which is when the complaining usually begins, “Leftovers, again?”

I was thinking about this on Sunday as we thought about God’s abundance. We remembered story after story in the Bible in which we discover a God of abundance and overflowing goodness. One of the stories was the feeding of the 5,000, in which a huge crowd (some estimate it was as many as 15,000, since women and children wouldn’t have made the count) was fed by a meager 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. Perhaps the miracle is a supernatural generation of food, a multiplication of cells and nutrients, to make something out of almost nothing. Certainly God is able. Or perhaps the miracle is that the boy who gave his meal so selflessly, inspired generosity in others, so that when it seemed like no one would have enough, through the act of selfless generosity, everyone had enough.

Actually, everyone had more than enough. As the story is told, we are meant to know that the miracle didn’t end with everyone being full, but with their being 12 baskets of leftovers. More than enough.

I Googled “God and leftovers” and all I could find were articles about how we shouldn’t give God our leftovers. What wasn’t immediately available was any information about this amazing truth, that i think we so often miss: God gives us leftovers! That is, God gives us more than enough, so that there is some leftover. So often we live in a frantic frenzy of anxiety, worrying if there will be enough: enough time, enough energy, enough white blood cells, enough money, enough retirement, enough everything. And in this frenzy we grow fatigued, and forget that we claim to follow a God who gives more than enough. We follow a God who gave life, gave manna, gave water, gave a sacrificial lamb, gave redemption, gave hope. We follow a God who gave his only Son, Jesus, who said, “I have come that you might have life, and have it abundantly.”

In our church we are in a season of stewardship, during which we are asking ourselves some "what if?" questions. I am urging the folks at St. Pauls UMC and Wesley Foundation to dare themselves to put their hope in the God of abundance, who not only gives us enough, but loads of leftovers, as well. As you reflect on this truth, I invite you to consider where you have seen God’s abundance in your life recently, and to let that inspire you to even greater hope in the God of leftovers.

Prayer: God of abundance, help us to see the ways you not only provide enough for us, but lavish us with leftovers. Give us eyes to see the embarrassment of riches that we enjoy through your creation, the joy of music, the contentment of food, the blessing of family, and so much more. Forgive us for focusing on that which we lack, or which we fear we will lose, and help us to choose to embrace your abundance instead. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Popular posts from this blog

i will give you a new name

in our church, we are continuing with a series called "letters from Jesus," in which we are looking at the seven letters in the beginning of revelation addressed to seven churches in asia.  we are imagining what it would be like if we were to receive a hand-written letter from Jesus to our church.  what would it say?  how would we be encouraged?  how would we be challenged?  we've looked at three of the letters now.  this week we looked at the letter to the church in pergamum.  the letter to them includes some harsh criticism of some of their behavior, but it also says that Christ understands how difficult their situation is.  and in case they feel like they are stuck in their sinfulness, Jesus says something amazing to them:  i will give you a new name.  the world gives us so many names, doesn't it?  our parents, of course, give us our birth names.  but the naming doesn't stop there.  it continues right on through elementary school, high school, and into t

Milinovich Family Christmas, 2019

merry Christmas, yinz guys.  we've been marking our advent journeys with an annual video now for the last twelve years!  for this latest installment, we used the Tractors' version of "Run, Run Rudolph," as a metaphor for all of our running around, and i hope it shows that we've had a real blast this year, preparing for Christmas.  you'll see scenes from getting our tree, making cookies, concerts, impromptu dance sessions, making snowflakes, and much more.  enjoy. 

bad haircuts (for a laugh)

everybody needs to laugh.  one good way i have found to make that happen is to do a simple google image search for 'bad haircut.'  when you do so, some of the following gems show up.  thankfully, my 9th grade school picture does NOT show up.  otherwise, it would certianly make this list!  please laugh freely and without inhibition.  thank you and have a nice day.