Some Sunday nights, after the floors have been swept and the chairs put away, as I was turning off the lights and locking the doors, I would just think “I can’t do this.” Countless nights after rough bible studies or Life Nights gone wrong or social events that seemed more solo than social, I would have similar thoughts.
Continually, in youth ministry as in other areas of my life, I just plain feel inadequate. And so I would do what we’re all taught to do – pray. I would give it over to Christ. I would remind Christ that it’s all about Him (as if He forgot instead of me) and not me. I would beg for Christ to take over and just start bringing successes – of course, in the ways that I wanted to measure success.
And one day, the familiar Gospel passage of the loaves and fishes hit me in a totally different way. We hear all the time about the miracle of the loaves and fishes. We’ve probably heard the debate – was it a miracle or did people just share – which maybe was a miracle itself? But this time, a totally different part of the passage hit me, and I didn’t really get much past it.
In Mark 6, when the disciples were telling Christ that they were tired and they wanted to riff-raff to go away for the night so the cool club could hang out (maybe not exactly like that), they brought up the issue of this big group of people needing food. And of course, it wouldn’t be their job to feed everyone, so rock-star Jesus should just send everyone off to fend for themselves. Jesus had a very simple response, that resonated with me after one particularly rough Life Night: “Give them some food yourselves.”
Wait, what? No no no no, Jesus – you’re the, um, Christ! It’s your job to take care everyone!
But Jesus didn’t seem so interested in that line of thinking. Instead, he took what they disciples had – everything they had – and he used that to take care of everyone.
What the disciples had (five loaves and two fish) surely wasn’t enough. But they gave what they had to Christ, and He made that more than enough.
It’s not up to us to hide behind the idea that we’re not Christ, so it isn’t up to us. Because as Christ showed the disciples – it is up to us – sort of. We are the ones who have to “feed His sheep” as he instructed St. Peter. But – and we cannot ever forget this part – we aren’t doing it alone.
We have to be willing to give all that we have to serve and take care of Christ’s people – and we have to also recognize that we don’t have what it takes to get it done. When we take what we have and give it over to Christ – it will be more than enough.