We just went shopping today at our favorite grocery outlet in preparation for the coming deluge. No, we are not expecting the Tuckaseegee River to flood, although it has come close several times in the past two months. Like much of the southeast, we have had a lot of rain!
The duluge I am preparing for is the annual arrival of family and friends for our 4th of July celebration.
I LOVE IT!
We play silly games, eat, watch the fireworks from the end-of-our driveway, and celebrate the blessing of living in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
I have re-painted the mountain “granny and pa-paw” with the holes where you place your face for silly photographs. I also re-painted “Billy Bob” who has holes instead of eyes and mouth to throw bean bags through.(He now has a blue Smoky Mountain ball cap). Phil has mowed a place for a baseball diamond, and repaired the path that rain washed out so that golf cart riders can safely navigate the trail. We have bubble gun for the bubble blowing contest and water ballons for the toss (Will Abi and Greg reclaim the title from Salem and Tim?) Other activities are in the works.
All these preparations are fun, but probably the most important is the food. Why?
Folks need to eat.
I must be honest. Even though I look forward to the games, I realize that many family and friends will get hungry.
Jesus saw this as well during the height of his ministry. Mark 6:34-43 recounts a situation where Jesus was “teaching them many things”. Yet, folks got hungry and Jesus did not ignore that fact.
34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”
37 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”
They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”
38 “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”
When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.”
39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.
Again, in the interest of full disclosure, I would much rather spend time preparing the games than preparing the food. I get tired of the “prepare food, clean up” cycle – then I turn around and someone is hungry again. Yet if Jesus took time from his teaching to feed over 5000 people, I need to see to the needs of those in my family.
I want to adjust my attitude and bring it in line with Scripture.
If Jesus thinks it is important to feed those who are hungry, than so must I.
So, I will prepare food and ask those coming to bring something to share. I certainly don’t want to keep the blessing of sharing food all to myself!