An Image Lesson From A Big Picnic

James Nettinga

READ : John 6:1-11

This fascinating story of the feeding of the 5000 speaks to the image of the beginning of a Christian life. Three people stand out: the boy who gave his lunch to meet the need of the moment; the man Andrew who doubted the ability of the boy’s gift to meet the need; finally, Jesus who took the gift, blessed it and used it to meet the need.

Christian life really begins when we are ready to accept God’s rule as revealed in Jesus Christ, giving ourselves to that rule now. Dr. John R. Mott, founder of the Student Volunteer Movement, put it this way:

The awareness of a need
and the capacity to meet that need
constitute a call.

I’m sure the boy was not aware of a call, but he sensed a need and did what he could. What difference does it make how old or how young we are? If we see a need and can do something about it, we have a call. Andrew’s statement of doubt illustrates the problem in accepting the call. The call is obvious. Every day we hear of great human need in news broadcasts.

Mother Teresa met the call. She was “a pencil in the hand of God.” Frank Laubach answered with his world- wide literacy program and motto, “Each one, teach one.”


Thankful for Christ’s life, may we respond to his call to meet the needs of today. Amen