Sunday, July 31, 2005

Children's Message: Pentecost 11 - Year A

Today I’d like to tell you a story about a boy named Roger. One Friday night, neither Roger’s mom nor dad felt like cooking dinner, so they packed up Roger and his little brother David into the car and the family went downtown to one of those all-you-can eat Chinese food restaurants.

Roger LOVED Chinese food. He liked ginger beef and fried rice much better than hamburgers or pizza. So he loaded up his plate with all sorts of fried goodies.

When he finished his plate, he went back again. When he inhaled his second plate, he went back a third time. Each plate of food was just as big as the first.

When Roger was only half way through his third plate, he put his fork down and announced, “Finished.”

“What do you mean you’re finished,” said his dad, “You’ve still have half a plate of food left to eat.”

“I can’t eat it all, I’m full,” said Roger as the server was taking away his plate.

“Roger, where do you think your leftover food is going?” his mom asked.

“They’re probably going to throw it away,” replied Roger.

“Is it good to throw food away? Especially when many people here in Lethbridge don’t have enough to eat?”

“They can have my leftovers,” said Roger laughing.

“Roger, we’re trying to be serious,” said his dad.

“Well, what can I do then to help the hungry people?” asked Roger.

“You can start by taking only the food that you will eat,” replied Roger’s mom, “That is something we all can do better at.”

That night as Roger was getting ready for bed and to say his prayers, he was still thinking about what his mom and dad told him about not wasting food.

“Mom, didn’t we hear on Sunday about how Jesus feed 5000 people with just a couple loaves of bread and some fish?

“Yes,” his mom replied.

“And that afterwards there was a lot left over – 12 baskets full?”


“So, if God can provide food, why do people still go hungry?”

“Let’s go back to the story,” replied his mom, “there were 12 baskets left over. That sounds like a lot, and considering that they started with a whole lot less, I guess it is. But how many people do you think a basket of bread could feed?”

“Maybe a dozen or so.”

“Okay, let’s do the math. 12 people eating from 12 baskets would be 144 people that could be fed after “everyone ate and had their fill” as the story puts it. But there were 5000 men and probably 10 000 women and children in that crowd. That makes 15 000 people. What would have happened if even a small portion of those 15 000 people took more than they needed?”

“There wouldn’t have been enough for everyone?” replied Roger.

“That’s right.”

“So, maybe God gives enough food for everyone to have enough, but if we take more than what we need, others might not have any. So maybe the real miracle was that people only took what they needed.”

“Maybe,” said his mom.

Then they said a prayer like this as we do now: Dear God, thank you for giving us enough food. Help us to take only what we need. Amen.


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