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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

State College to Birmingham

 as some of you know, i have been working towards a goal i set at the beginning of 2020 of running 1000 miles in one calendar year.  today is the last day of september (what?!?), and so that means the year is 3/4 of the way complete, which means i should be right around the 750 mile marker.  however, i am doing better than that, as my 5 mile run today put me at 847 miles for the year, almost 100 miles ahead of schedule!  i am feeling great, enjoying the journey, and experiencing a real sense of accomplishment as i work towards this goal.   i have also enjoyed these little milestones along the way, just to see how far i've come.  as it turns out, 847 miles from State College (along the roads, not as the crow flies) would have me arriving in Birmingham, AL, right about now!  not too shabby!  only about 150 to go!

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. 

happy mother's day 2020

twelve years ago i started making a video of our children as a mother's day tribute to their mother, and somehow it became a tradition.  back then, our oldest son was 3 years old, and cute.  now he's 15 and, well, not so cute .  however, we have really come to love this tradition, and the time capsule of sorts that it has become.  we love looking back at each year's video, to see how we've grown and changed, and how our love for Shannon has remained constant. below is this year's video, and if you want to walk with us down memory lane, the other eleven are down there as well.  happy mother's day to all the mom's out there...you make us feel like a million bucks. 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009