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So Much from So Little

Sydney McGough

Sydney McGough is a member of the community at Spring Hill Presbyterian Church in Mobile, Alabama. She is currently in sixth grade and enjoys music, soccer, and trivia. Sydney’s joyful spirit, empathy, and contagious smile is a blessing to her family, friends, and church community.

Preached at Spring Hill Presbyterian Church in Mobile, Alabama, on November 14, 2021.

O Jesus, I Have Promised, acrylic and ink on wood, Jennifer Bunge

John 6:1–14

Good morning! My name is Sydney, and I am a fifth grader and go to Mary B. Austin Elementary School. I will be your preacher this morning.

After Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, a crowd followed him. They saw how he helped the sick. He performed miracles. Jesus went on top of a mountain and sat down with his disciples. He looked up and saw a huge crowd coming towards him, and the first thing he said was, “How are we going to feed this crowd!?” This shows that Jesus cared.

The disciples freaked out. Phillip answered, “We can’t pay for this! What are we going to do?” There was a moment of silence while they thought. One of his disciples, Andrew, said to him, “There is a small boy with five loaves and two fish.” That day there was a crowd of five thousand—and that was just the men! Logically, you couldn’t feed five thousand people with just five loaves and two fish. There wasn’t enough! Unless there was a miracle.

Jesus told his disciples to make the people sit down. So they sat. Jesus was smart, because five thousand people is a lot of people, and without organization things can get very chaotic.

Then Jesus took the loaves and the fish and he gave thanks. In this story, a holiday was coming up for the disciples—the Jewish Passover festival was near. We have another holiday coming up that is a time to give thanks—Thanksgiving! Giving thanks is important. It reminds us we have a lot to be thankful for. I am thankful for family, church family, friends, my dog, my house, and teachers. Like Jesus did, we give thanks for the food on the table when we sit down to dinner. I wonder what Jesus was thankful for. Maybe he was thankful to do God’s work, for his disciples, for miracles he performed and for the people he helped, and for the boy, the five loaves, and the two fish—not much food, but for Jesus, it was enough. He and his disciples distributed the food. Everyone got as much as they wanted. It was a feast—plenty for all.

When the crowd was full, Jesus told his disciples to gather up leftovers so that nothing was lost. We waste a lot today, and we shouldn’t. There are so many people in the world who can’t waste.

Jesus is resourceful. He takes what is available and uses it for what he needs for others. He doesn’t waste anything—he uses everything in God’s name. They filled twelve whole baskets with food. Who knows how many more people could have had the feast, too!
When the people saw the miracle Jesus performed, they said, “He is indeed the prophet who has come into the world.” In my opinion, Jesus is more than a prophet. He is the prophet—God’s own Son. What I take away from this story is that I can use what I have to help so many others. So can you.

When I was in kindergarten, my teacher asked me to help a new student. He came from another country and spoke a different language from me. The teacher asked me to help him, and I did almost every day as I made a new friend. He is still at my school and has lots of friends. The teacher gave me an opportunity to use my experience and time to welcome someone else. God can turn so little into so much. He can turn all our lives around, forgive all our sins, and make us wholly who we are. Leave today thinking of this. Go do some good. Amen.

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