I'm preaching today and not for once preaching on the scripture we are hearing today. I'm using the theme of the Epistle of James, last week and next week instead and linking it in to the Feeding of the Five Thousand from a few weeks ago.
St James tells us that "faith without good works" is no good. For some people of even the strongest faith, getting involved in anything more than Sunday worship is something they don't consider. Maybe its because the right opportunity hasn't come along, but more often than not the complaint is "I don't have the time !" This needn't be the case thou.
When I was in Nairobi, I saw in the window of the Catholic Cathedral gift shop a poster of the feeding of the 5000. It was so unusual I had to have it but typically the gift shop had closed 10minutes earlier ! Some months later I was lucky enough to find it as a gift card in SPCK. Now you might be wondering why this picture had such a big effect on me. Well its a modern portrayl of the event. Jesus and the disciples are dressed casually in shirts and jumpers and in front of them is a little boy offering up his lunchbox. Not loaves and fishes but a sandwich, an apple and a Mars bar !
It occured to me that, that was indeed what the little boy had been doing all along, he'd been offering up his lunch of bread and fish. Now as a teacher, I know that if you give a child a lunchbox for a day trip out, they will take something from it before lunchtime. Here is the little boy handing across his lunch from which he's probably taken something already. He's taken what he needed and is offering up what's left to Jesus.
In our own lives, we should always take what we need for ourselves, in terms of time, energy and money, and then Jesus can work miracles with whats left.