It truly must have been an amazing site. There were five thousand men not counting the women and, possibly children. Men can eat a lot, I know. So, a snack is not going to get me very far when all day long I have had nothing to eat. What I need is nourishment, a meal that will fill me up and satisfy my craving on the inside. I can only imagine stomachs growing, kids tugging at mom’s dress asking for something to eat. All Jesus had to work with was fives loaves and two fish and even His own disciples questioned whether that would even be sufficient to feed so many. If you have ever read the gospel accounts from the angel of the writers you know how the story ends. Mark described the scene this way, “And they did all eat,and were filled”(Mark 6:42 KJV). That word “filled” means to “satisfy the desire of anyone”. The sounds which echoed throughout the crowd that day when the meal was finished were probably many. Some might have burped. Others might have stated how satisfying they felt. Some perhaps could feel new energy flowing through their bodies as the food gave them strength for the journey back to their own homes. Whatever it was, they all truly walked away with not only amazement, but a smile on their faces.
I began to think of that scene recently when I looked out over our growing congregation in Corsicana and know what the mission of our church is called to be to not only in a city, but the entire county. The gospel writer John captured the scene and the mission of Word Alive Church, when he penned the words of Jesus at the conclusion of the meal, the disciples were told, “…Gather up the fragments that remain,that nothing be lost”(John 6:12 KJV). The word “fragment” was intriguing to me. The dictionary defines it as, “a part broken off or detached”, “an isolated, unfinished or incomplete part”.
How many in our society do you know that are fragmented? Many I am certain. Broken pieces of humanity which society, and even the church have thrown to the side of the road because they are no longer of use any more. Fragmented families, children, teenagers, adults from all levels of society walk around as a broken off or detached piece from the entire body because they feel like they no longer belong or else of no use to any one whatsoever. That is why suicide is so prevalent in our world. Broken lives who feel they are of no value to anyone or any place. They are fragmented.
When the Spirit of God called my wife and me into our present position we knew our assignment. It was what it has always been, to pick up broken pieces that no one else wants and through the power of the Spirit of God, and the word of God, see their lives put back together and become a vibrant, functioning member of society once again. Broken people need a safe place to gather. A place where you are accepted just as you are. Not a place where you have to put on a mask and try to be something you are not. A place where love flows, where grace is displayed, where truth is spoken. A place where the prodigal can be given a ring for their finger, a new robe for their backs and dancing shoes on their feet. Why? Because Heaven is in party mood. And as the Holy Spirit is allowed to work in the hearts of all those who come, we will then begin to fulfill what Paul stated to the church at Ephesus, “He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.”(Ephesians 4:16 The Message)
I know what it is like to be fragmented. Broken in so many pieces that I often wondered if God could put me back together again. Like the old children’s nursery rhyme of Humpty Dumpty. But, He did. And not only did He, but placed me at the head of a flourishing body. Why? Because for one He knew I was not smart enough to build something on my own. That’s not a put-down, just an honest observation of my own life. I would need His help. It would require His anointing. But, second as an example. If God can put me back together and place me where I am today, then He can do it for anyone. No one is too broken. Ask the man living in the tombs when Jesus showed up.
To all the broken fragmented people reading this today, I say “Welcome to the family”. You are why we are here. Religion might have discarded you, the church might have said you no longer are valuable any more, but the Spirit of God in me declares that it is time to get your dancing shoes on. A party is under way. I hear the music in my spirit. The angels are shouting. Heaven is roaring. You and I have a mission to complete. Our assignment is as the disciples following the meal, “…Gather up the fragments…” in other words get others just like you because there is room at the table. And when the Master is finished serving every one of us will not only be full, but satisfied completely!!!!