II Kings 4:42
Elisha was a prophet for God. He gave the people messages from God. He prayed for people and helped them give their offerings to God.
One man took the first grains of his harvest and made bread … twenty loaves of it and took his offering to Elisha to accept for God. Elisha looked inside the bag and was pleased, but then he said something strange to the man. Elisha told the man to take his offering to God and distribute the twenty loaves to the people. There were one hundred people waiting to eat and Elisha had only twenty loaves. The man had brought it to God and he was convinced that the bread could not feed all of those people.
“Elisha repeated what he had said a bit louder, ‘Take this bread and give it to the people to eat! The man still did not understand. He frowned at Elisha and shook his head. When Elisha saw the look on the man’s face, he reminded the man of God’s promise. God promised to take care of us. God will give us enough food to eat. We will even have leftovers.”
The man listened and did what Elisha told him to do. All the people ate the bread and were satisfied. The twenty loaves fed more than the man expected and there were leftovers to boot!
For those who sign up to be Head Cook at our Saturday Soup Kitchen, it is at first daunting to prepare one hundred portions. Following recipes from a classic quantity cookery book called Food for Fifty, it is easy to increase a recipe to serve 100, 150, 200 or even more servings. While recipes for baked goods require strict adherence to the recipe, it is easier to increase the servings of casseroles, soups, etc. by adding extra amounts times of certain items so that we have enough food prepared to offer second or even third helpings. Sometimes we have leftovers that can be frozen for use at another time.
Have you ever volunteered to help at the Soup Kitchen? Have you ever served as Head Cook? Opportunities are available and you can sign up for dates on the sheets posted in McLeod Hall. You, like that man presenting his offering to God in today’s reading from II Kings, can see amazing things happen!
O God, we thank You that gifts committed to You can bring smiles to those who are hungry or in need. We thank You for those who work in Soup Kitchens to prepare nourishing and satisfying meals for those who are hungry. Bless those who staff our Soup Kitchen and minister to brothers and sisters in Christ who are hungry. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.