Faith + Open: Gather everyone in the household where all can be comfortable or around the dinner table. Light a candle and open with prayer: Dear God, you give us all that we need. We thank you for all of the good things that you give us: food, housing, clothes, work (add your own here). Help us to share not just the material things that we have but our love for you! Amen.
Faith + Share: read John 6: 1-15. Page 426 in the Spark Story Bible and page 244 in the Jesus Storybook Bible. Have five pieces of bread out and two gold fish crackers to represent the fish.
For Children: Look at the bread and the “fish” on the table. Would that even be enough to feed your family dinner? But Jesus used just a little bit of food and fed 5,000 people! If you were there that day what would you tell people about what Jesus had done? Jesus is able to give us what we need, not always what we want. What are the things that we need? (food, clothing, shelter, family) So is a new toy a need or a want? It’s ok that we sometimes want fun things, but we have to remember that what we want is not always what we need. That is so hard for us to understand! Even for adults!
For youth and adults: When we read a story like this it is easy to think of Jesus as someone who will give us whatever we want whenever we need it. The disciples didn’t understand the true power of what Jesus could do and the people were amazed by the miracle. It’s easy to believe in God when we get a “miracle” isn’t it? What about when we pray for a miracle but don’t get it? God seemingly doesn’t “give” us what we wanted, or what we think we needed. But Jesus wasn’t interested in people believing only because of the miracle. Jesus wants people to believe because God loves them so very much and everything in our lives, miracles or not, are to show God’s love for the world. So even non-miraculous deeds can reveal God to the world. So how can we live our lives beyond thinking about miracles to show God’s love for the world?
Faith + Blessing: At the beginning of every meal this month say: Thank you for what we are given. Help us to give to others what they need to live.
Faith + Close: Extinguish the candle and pray: Giver of all things, we thank you for what we have and know that everything is a gift from you and a sign of how much you love us. Today God we pray for all of those who do not have enough food, drink, shelter or love in their lives. Help us to serve them. Amen.
Faith + Serve: Find a local food pantry and get a list of what they need. Or help serve those in need at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter.