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Leftovers

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday, and were able to celebrate with friends, family and good food. Today, I imagine you may be enjoying some leftovers. My favorite is a turkey sandwich on homemade white bread with mayonnaise, lettuce, salt and lots of pepper. If there is any leftover stuffing, that's good too! In our house, we always make use of the leftovers.

You may remember that after the miracle when Jesus feeds 5,000 people with loaves and fishes, he gathers up all the leftovers.  He does it again after the feeding of the 4,000. I often wondered about that curious detail until my friend Laurie Furr-Vancini preached a sermon on it once. She said God wastes nothing. God picks up the pieces and puts them to use – even the broken the pieces of our lives.

Sometimes we feel broken, and it feels like the shattered pieces of our lives are scattered on the ground. In those moments it's hard to believe that God is at work picking up the pieces and even beginning to put things back together.  

May you come to see that as God pulls together the broken pieces, something new and even beautiful can emerge.  God can bring the good out of something not so good. God can use even our failures, our brokenness, and our mistakes to strengthen us, and empower us to strengthen others. God is the God of Redemption, and the God who wastes nothing.

Our prayer today was written by the late Rev. Roger Kunkel, founder of Dial Hope Ministries.

Let us pray:   O God of all precious things, who hears our pain even when tears block our words, create in us a heart of laughter and hope.  In a world that is on fast forward, may your Spirit of comfort still the anxiety of those who live with enormous pressure and stress; may it fill the emptiness of lost and lonely lives.  When our days feel barren and the color has gone from life, we are afraid, for there is nowhere else to turn.  We thank you for the hint of your unconditional love in Jesus Christ, a love that knows no end and will not let us go.  You are the one who walks in when the rest of the world walks away.  Thank you, Lord.  For we pray in the name of the Prince of Peace, our Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.

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