“After everyone was full, Jesus told His disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.” John 6:12, NLT
There is a critical food shortage in the world, yet people in some nations still live in relative affluence. As recent as May of 2022, one source reported, “Americans waste about 40% of the food we purchase.” It added, this is equi- valent to buying five bags of groceries, and throwing two bags away. This is not merely shameful, it is sinful. Jesus was very aware of the need to conserve and be good stewards with the resources we receive. We peer into the thinking of Jesus, after He had miraculously fed the more than 5,000 people on a hill opposite the Sea of Galilee. After Jesus was assured that everyone had eaten well, He directed the disciples to gather what was left, so that nothing could be wasted. In that ancient culture, the left-over fish could be dried, salted, and preserved for the feeding of many other people up to a year. Rather than preserve perfectly healthy food, we dump it, while millions go hungry. The United States destroys 80 billion pounds of food each year; which is 30% -40% of the nation’s food-chain. Worse, the food that’s thrown away is composted in landfills. It then produces methane, a toxic green-house gas that penetrates the atmosphere and traps the heat. This is in woeful contrast to what Jesus taught about conserving and sharing. The new mission field of the church is in our front and back yards. We need the compassion of missional acts; coupled with a bold stewardship; that teaches us not to waste the wonderful resources God gives us. Every morsel and kernel are sacred! An old adage is true: “Willful waste makes woeful want.” We can fail to waste, by doing what Jesus instructed. Let us gather, not garbage, the resources we don’t use. God has called us to help the least, lost, and the abandoned. We are all seated before the Savior; listen to Him. Everyone can engage in missions, because we can all share. Everyone can support missions, by not wasting! Let’s all do our part to bring food to the deserts of life.