“And He (Jesus Christ) directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.”Matthew 14:19-21/NIV
While my wife and I vacationed in a Smoky Mountain town known for tourism, we visited a locally owned tea shop. Upon entering this business, our noses were quickly greeted with the most amazing aromas imaginable. We were delighted with the smells and left with tasty brewed treats we enjoyed as we continued our drive through the beautiful mountains! The flavor of the skillfully handcrafted tea blends enhanced the beautiful experience of the Blue Ridge Mountains!
The tea shop owner had a gracious and kind personality and was passionate about the teas he blended and served. He is from Russia, and while talking with him, he quickly acknowledged his frustration with the turmoil around his homeland. He endorsed much disappointment with the strife and torment regarding the citizens of Ukraine. He reflected upon the hunger and discord the Ukrainian people face daily, and his thoughts indicated that the world should not let them starve. His thoughts also quickly turned to America, where hunger could be a problem, and the government should not allow its citizens to starve either!
As the shop owner stated his concerns about hungry souls, I began to think about the occasions when Jesus Christ fed thousands of hungry people. He did so on one occasion with only five loaves of bread, and two fish multiplied miraculously to care for those in need. Jesus worried about the well-being of humanity and even told His disciple, Peter, he, too, should tend to the lambs and feed the sheep. Jesus certainly worried about the physical health of people around Him and their spiritual well-being.
The kind shop owner voiced frustration and concern regarding hungry people and that more should be done to help them. The Bible tells us Jesus Christ had the same concern and took action to correct this problem. With personal reflection, I wonder how I can better care for others in a manner consistent with the tea artisan’s wishes while being like Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you!” (John 15:12/NIV) That is great prompting for me, which reminds me of correct priorities and actions. I will follow the encouragement from the wise and gracious shop owner in the Smoky Mountains while seeking to be like Jesus! I will seek to care for the lambs and tend to the sheep (humanity)! Amen!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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