But Jesus said to them, "You give them something to eat." They said, "We have no more than five loaves and two fish."
Martin B. Copenhaver
Jesus is teaching a large crowd until it gets dark. The twelve apostles are hungry and tired at this point. I picture them like my children used to be on Sunday mornings. Late in the fellowship hour after worship they would have had enough of church and, tugging on my coat, they would say, "Dad, are we ever going to leave?"
The apostles are something like that. They have had enough of church for a time. They are able to mask their own needs by claiming to have great concern for the people: "This is a remote place and the people look awfully hungry. Shouldn't we send them away so they can get something to eat?"
Jesus responds, "Well, why don't you give them something to eat?" The apostles are dumbfounded: "We only have five loaves and two fish. Look," they say, turning their pockets inside out, "that's it. Unless there is a deli open at this hour, there is no way we are going to be able to feed all of these people."
Jesus says, "Give them what you have. It is enough. Trust that it is enough." And, sure enough, everyone is fed, and there are even plenty of leftovers.
We tend to devalue small things. Jesus never does. Instead, he points to the power in small things that we might so easily overlook. The Realm of God is like a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, which grows to be a tree large enough that birds can call it home. The pinch of yeast that leavens the whole loaf. That scrap of bread you brought with you to the hillside that is used to feed five thousand - if you offer it, but only if you offer it.
It starts small. It starts with the feast that is already in your pocket.
God, help me to value small things, remembering that the largest of all realities - your Realm - begins with something small.