I’ll admit the very first thing that I thought about when I read the Gospel was, “Wow, wouldn’t it be nice to gather together with thousands of people.” What would it be like to be out by a lake surrounded by people, eating bread and fish that some stranger offered you. But then I realized something. I was beginning to frame my ideas, my perception of God’s word and what Christ was doing, is doing and can do through a filter of what I feel that I am lacking. I can’t lead church the way I have always done. I can’t greet and fellowship with people in the way that I am used to. I can’t visit hospitals and on and on, after all, all I have is a camera, a $2 homemade teleprompter, a laptop and a connection to the internet. And there you really have it, the Gospel for today. How can I when this is all I have? “You give them something to eat.” How can we? Church giving and membership has been declining for years. “You give them something to eat.” But how do I know I’m giving it to someone who really needs it? What if its a scam? “You give them something to eat.” I’m sorry but I have to reference Washington Bartholomew Hogwallop from the movie, O, Brother, “Sorry but we got this Covid on, I got to do for me and mine.” All of these instances echo the problem in thinking the disciples exhibited when Jesus told them, “You give them something to eat.” The problem is that the disciples were, at that time, operating from an ethic of scarcity. They are standing with Jesus, and they only see what their eyes are telling them, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” Before they begin they are defeated. If what we deem as adequate resources and staffing are not right there in front of us we oftentimes give up and declare an impossibility. That is operating from an ethic of scarcity. There is only so much and resources are finite and unchangeable. Let’s ask ourselves, When has an ethic of scarcity caused me to shrink from a challenge? I shudder at the thought of how many times in my life that I have failed to start or have been defeated by a why bother attitude. A redirection or shift in our thinking requires our eyes not only perceiving the resources that we calculate before us but seeing with our hearts that we stand beside Jesus who said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.” So what if we shift our ethic to an ethic of abundance? What if we take to heart Pual’s words and ethic, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Jesus knew that nothing was impossible for God and that God would make a way. So Jesus, despite the optics of his birth in a stable, refugee status in Egypt, leaders wanting him dead, a ragtag bunch of disciples set out against seemingly insurmountable odds. He did not fail to start. He did not submit to “why botherism”. He did not embrace an ethic of scarcity. Not only did Jesus set out on God’s mission, not only did Jesus set out to meet the needs of God’s children and usher in the Kingdom of God but, as John points out Jesus went to death itself on the cross because he lived in God’s abundance. Jesus knew that there was more than enough and he calls us to join him, not as hired hands but as children of God that also lay down our lives in trust and the knowledge that God’s love, resources, grace, mercy, understanding are overflowing and excessive and abundant. We are called to be thankful and to live in love for one another, seeking to lift one another up and share our resources in that same spirit and faith. Instead of living a life focused on scarcity and failure and potential failure, let’s ask ourselves, “When has an ethic of abundance helped me to respond faithfully to an opportunity within God’s mission? What’s that look like? It looks like turning our backs on self-centeredness and turning outward and focusing on others. Christ’s miracles were about helping and loving others. When we do that, what kind of stuff can happen. What can happen when we take up those supposedly meager resources and share them and take Jesus’ words to heart, “You give them something to eat.” Five year olds are not seen as fountains of resources, pretty much exactly like the kid with the five loaves and two fish. Move on, nothing to see here. But what if that child has a heart of abundance and she looks outside of herself. Other writers around the world have written about Hannah Taylor, but I want you to hear that child’s story from the pen of another young person that was inspired by her. Emma wrote, “Hannah Taylor was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1996. When she was five years old, she saw a homeless man eating out a garbage can on a cold winter day. She was shocked to see that some people don’t have enough food to eat without begging, or digging through garbage cans. From that day on she was full of questions, the main one being, “why?”. The young girl could not understand why people with lots of food wouldn’t just share with those who don’t. She asked why people wouldn’t share, but no one had a good answer for her. So, she pursued the dream that had evolved over three years – to end homelessness. When she was eight years old, Hannah founded the Ladybug Foundation. Hannah’s foundation is a registered charity that has raised over two million dollars towards homelessness over the eight years it has existed. Hannah has spoken to thousands of people, including over 175 schools, and groups of people in numbers up to 16 000, representing homeless people, and speaking for them. Hannah really believes that things can change. Her dream is to go outside and be able to go for a walk without seeing one person without a roof over their head, or enough food to feed their family. Hannah inspires people across the nation to make a difference and be the change. She makes us all realize that it is possible to change the world, no matter how small, young, or quiet you are. It is possible. There are more than fifty soup kitchens, emergency shelters, missions, youth shelters, and food banks across Canada that are in existence because of the Ladybug Foundation. One of the main fundraising events that the Ladybug Foundation puts on annually is on Red Scarf Day on January 31st. Walk a Mile in Their Shoes first took place last January on Red Scarf Day, and is planned to become an annual fundraiser. Throughout the year, anyone can go online to The Ladybug Foundation’s official website to order a red fleece scarf with a Ladybug Foundation logo on it, as well as a message from Hannah. The scarves are worn across Canada and Singapore on January 31st, while people across the nation walk a mile for homelessness. Hannah Taylor is important to me because she really helped me to believe in myself, and that I can make a difference even though I am young and feel like I have no voice, I now realize that I do. Hannah Taylor is an inspirational person and began making her mark in this world very early on in her life and will continue to make the world a better place through her work with homelessness, and her inspirational work as well. Emma. The Ladybug foundation wound down last year as Hanna went to grad school to specialize in human rights law, but the legacy of seeing what a difference we can make when we say no to the voices of scarcity, lives on. 5000 people not counting women and children, 5 loaves, 2 fish. You give them something to eat, because, with Christ standing beside you, you can.