To us he remains nameless, as does his mother, but these anonymous two were central to one of the greatest miracles in the Bible.
In John’s Gospel he is simply called a lad with a lunch containing five pieces of barley bread and two small fish probably packed by a loving mother.
It was a common lunch, prepared by a common mother, for her common son, and yet it became the essential catalyst for a mighty miracle.
The lad gave the lunch to Jesus. He received it, blessed it, broke it and shared it with His disciples, who shared with the hungry people and a mighty multitude was fed!
I can imagine the boy staring in amazement at the miracle proceeding before his very eyes and proclaiming:
“my mama packs a powerful lunch!”
It all started with a loving mother preparing a simple lunch for her beloved son.
Dear mom, remember that with your busy hands and loving heart God can work miracles even though the work may seem common and routine in the moment.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
Little Jim was known for two things: his slow mind and his tender heart. When the time came for the church Christmas pageant, his Sunday School teacher cast him as the innkeeper. Although he only had one line, someone in the front row sat ready to help in case he forgot it. He had spent weeks whispering it to himself:
“No room in the inn.”
His moment to shine came when Joseph and a very pregnant Mary hobbled across the stage. They stood tall and delivered their lines perfectly. “We are looking for a place to spend the night.” Proudly, Jim remembered his line:
“There’s no room in the inn.”
But Joseph did not give in so easily. He begged and pleaded and Jim was moved. He looked at his prompter, suddenly unsure of himself, but obediently repeated his message: “There’s no room in the inn.” Joseph pleaded more ardently and this time Jim’s eyes filled with tears. He looked at his prompter once more, hoping for a different line. With trembling lips and a shaky voice, he whispered,
“No room in the inn.”
As Joseph argued, Jim’s resolve continued to weaken. Ultimately, however, he made the pageant director proud as he held fast to his single line. Finally, as Joseph and Mary turned to leave, Jim’s compassionate heart could take no more.
“Wait, Mary!” he cried out, to the director’s chagrin. “You can have my room!”
How different Bethlehem might have been if Jim had indeed been the innkeeper. Two thousand years later, as innkeepers of our own hearts, we often open our doors to things that clamor loudly but ultimately have little value. Sadly, our lives can become so cluttered with debris that even as Jesus knocks, we only wish we had room.
Neither Hollywood nor Broadway would ever come calling for an actor like Jim, but our world is in desperate need of others like him. As we move into this Christmas season and beyond, may we learn the art of welcoming in the things that truly matter in life.