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When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, ‘Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.’ John 6:12 NIV


The thousands had eaten until they could eat no more – what to do with the rest? ‘Hey guys, anyone got an empty basket?’ Maybe empty containers were handed over by the poorest people in the crowd. Jesus’ friends took the empties and filled them with leftover pieces of bread. Then what? I picture them handing the baskets back, full. ‘Here you are – take this home for your family.’ Nothing was wasted.

There have been times when I’ve felt like something mouldy left too long in the fridge. Others are doing exciting things, bringing change to the world, and I’m plodding through my days. This passage reminds me, if I put each day into Jesus’ hands, whatever comes out is not wasted. I may feel like a leftover, bitten off from the main loaf and tossed on the ground. Yet in God’s economy I am somehow gathered, put in a basket and given as food for the hungry. Most of the time (and this is a good thing) I don’t even know it’s happening.

Are you feeling left out, left over? God doesn’t see it that way.

Prayer (as a couple)

Dear Lord Jesus, give us courage to face each day by giving it into your hands and letting you make of it what you will. Together we stand against the thought that one of us might be a useless leftover.

Prayer (for others)

Father God, we pray for _______. Let them know your love and pleasure in the midst of dull days.


‘He [Brother Lawrence] was content doing even the smallest chore if he could do it for the love of God. ‘ The Practice of the Presence of God