Collect and Readings for The Eighth Sunday after Trinity 25h July 2021 Year B – 2 Samuel 11:1-15, 2 Kings 4:42-44, Psalm 14, Psalm 145:10-18, Ephesians 3:14-21, John 6:1-21;The Prayer for today Almighty Lord and everlasting God, we beseech you to direct, sanctify and govern both our hearts and bodies in the ways of your laws and the works of your commandments; that through your most mighty protection, both here and ever, we may be preserved in body and soul; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
I don't know whether you have been in really old buildings, perhaps a cathedral or a reaally old church or National Trust property, or maybe walked a pilgrim way. You may have noticed the wear and tear on the stones under your feet or perhaps you have seen how by many people touching a sculpture, a specific point has become exceptionally polished. Think about our churches, can you see the steps of all the people who have gone before us?
Maybe you have a family Bible which is torn and tattered and falling apart, just because it has been read and handled every day. It is said that Bibles which are falling apart are read by people who are not. Or possibly you have a treasured teddy bear whose fur is all rubbed away through the daily loving.
Each step, each picking up of a book, each cuddling of a bear is in itself only a small action, which you wouldn't think would do much harm. But day by day, over the years, the effect of all those little actions start to show up quite dramatically. Little actions turn out to be very important. Even a smile can spread wider than we might think. There's an old children's poem which says: 'Smile awhile, and when you smile another smiles, and soon there's miles and miles of smiles and life's worthwhile because you smile!'
In the reading we hear about one boy and his packed lunch. What was the point of him offering that when there were so many thousands of people to feed? Perhaps we think that he might as well have just eaten it himself! But look at what happened when, instead of that, the boy wanted to offer what he had to share. Jesus used it. He blessed the gift that was offered and then all the people were fed, with some left over.
Those who have been God's friends for a long time will have noticed that God is very good at giving us more than we asked for, and giving in ways we hadn't thought of! But he does need us to offer what we have, whether that's time, money or talents and skills. Basically, what we have to offer is ourselves. And when we do that, God can use the rest of our life here on earth in ways we haven't even thought of, blessing people who perhaps we haven't even met yet, and may not meet till heaven. If we offer ourselves at the start of every day, then every day can be used for some wonderful good that wouldn't otherwise happen.
Some things to do as you reflect:
God bless and stay safe and well.
Rev'd Fiona Robinson