Sunday, August 9, 2015

My Ragamuffin Vegetables

My leftover 'ragamuffin' veggies. 

I recently reaped the remainder of my garden's spring harvest.  I grew beets, turnips, lettuce, radicchio, basil, and artichoke. I was a virgin at growing artichoke, and they didn't fare well through the wet and hot summer here in Kentucky. The other vegetables thrived, but a few were certainly not the most stout plants I've seen; however they were still edible.

As I placed some of the leftover vegetables in a bowl to wash them, I thought about when Jesus broke bread for the crowd that was following him. Jesus had been healing people of various diseases, and crowds of people followed him because of the miracles that they had witnessed. After multiplying a couple of pieces of fish, and five loaves of bread enough to feed the crowd, he said to his disciples, "Gather up the LEFTOVER [RAGAMUFFIN] FRAGMENTS so that nothing will be lost" (John 6:12 NASB throughout, last part, my emphasis).

Why was Jesus so concerned about leftover pieces of bread and fish?  The gospel writer John tells us that there were twelve baskets of leftovers - one for each of Jesus' disciples. So maybe Jesus was teaching his disciples to focus on others before themselves. We know that they were at times bickering about who among them was the greatest, and Jesus told them that the greatest is the one who is the servant of all.

But I believe the most important reason is found in what Jesus said. "For the [TRUE] Bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives LIFE TO THE WORLD [ragamuffins and all] (John 6:33). "This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should LOSE NOTHING, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the LIFE OF THE WORLD" (John 6:39-40, 51).

Heaven and earth is interwoven in the True Bread, Jesus. There are no fragments of bread [ragamuffin pieces] outside of the True Bread.

Yes God loves everyone that might be considered a 'ragamuffin,' a 'loser,' and the 'leftovers' of society.

We're all God's children - that's the reality, despite what we might believe of ourselves, or what others may think of us.  

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