Mark 6:43, “And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, …”
There are so many avenues of application to travel down as we read this story of the feeding of the five thousand. I want to choose the topic of “nibbling on the leftovers” as the subject of this devotional.
We all are familiar with the phrase, “Would you like a to-go box?” This is another way of saying, “More has been provided for you than you can consume, on the premises, at one sitting; would you like to take something to nibble on later?” I want to suggest that those who prepare our spiritual food are like the chef who serves our entree at LongHorn Steakhouse, giving us more than we can consume, on the premises, at one sitting. So we ask for a to-go box (basket), which will provide something to nibble on later.
Leftovers in our Daily Life
There is more for us in the singer’s song than the four verses and chorus in the three minute rendering of it in the service. The preacher’s sermon will be filled with more spiritual food than you can absorb at one sitting; therefore, come anticipating taking some home for later. Christian fellowship, before and after the service in the church lobby, will be rich and provide a good mental snack for later. I have found that my daily personal devotions provide the most and richest food for me to nibble on throughout the day or share with others later.
How to Fill Your To-Go Box
Have you ever wondered who got the leftover fragments? A cursory observation of the story seems to indicate those who participated in the event. Maybe the lad, he gave something; therefore, he got something. Or maybe the apostles; they served and now they are being blessed for their service.
Maybe the reason you do not get enough from the service to need a to-go box (basket) is because you are not investing in it like the lad or the apostles. Do you sing with your heart? Do you listen with intensity when the preacher preaches? Do you come early or stay to fellowship with your church family? Do you pray when praying time comes? Do you worship God with your offerings when the usher passes by?
Those at the altar are filling their to-go box so they can feed later and extend what the preacher fed them this morning from the Word of God. Did you come with the intention of taking something for later? May I say that a good place (though not the only place) to fill your to-go box is at the altar. I also suggest another good way to take home some fragments of fish from the meeting is to take notes. A third way is to preserve some fragments just to have in your box.
Distributing the Fragments
Have you ever wondered what they did with the fragments? They probably ate some of it themselves, or they might have shared the fragments with others, just as they shared the fish earlier. Scripture says they distributed the fish. Could we not think they distributed the fragments? Though now sharing the fish/loaves in a different place, to a different crowd, it is the same food, only in a different form. It still contained the nutritional value of the fish, though now in fragment form. I think we call that witnessing.
I have found that you never ask for a to-go box if you do not like the food. If you like the music, the sermon, the fellowship, and even the giving, you will want a to-go box. Either to nibble on yourself or to share with others later.