When they were filled, he said to his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.…
The natural thought would be — let the fragments lie; a divine munificence can again be equal to a similar emergency; henceforth we will be in sublime disdain of fragments — a niggardly economy. But Christ prevents any such bad generalization from the abundance of His great gifts, by the command, "gather up the fragments."
I. Here then emerges the great law that GOD IS ALWAYS AND EVERYWHERE PARTICULAR ABOUT FRAGMENTS. This law God Himself obeys. God is particular about fragments in —
1. Keeping them. You cannot destroy matter.
2. In using them. The little things at the basis of nature.
3. In adorning them. You shall find even a Divine lavishing of adornment in things so minute that only a microscope can reveal them.
II. We are confronted by a new year. How may we make it a happy one? By becoming ourselves OBEDIENT TO THE GREAT LAW WHICH GOD OBEYS.
1. Seize fragments of time for self-culture and in the consciousness of growth find the new year a happy one. Emerson says, "One of the illusions is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the last day in the year. No man has learned anything rightly until he knows that every day is doomsday."
2. Seize fragments of chance for doing good, and in that consciousness find the year a happy one. This was said by a member of one of the Protestant churches in Paris: "For you must know it is a rule in our church that when one brother has been converted he must go and fetch another brother; and when a sister has been converted, she must go and fetch another sister. That is the way 120 of us have been brought from atheism and Popery to simple faith in the Lord Jesus Christ." If you would but feel that "must go and fetch another" — you would find for yourself a radiant year.
3. Seize fragments of happiness as they lie about you day by day. Happiness does not come so much in nuggets as in the minuter golden particles. Do not despise them. Look for the securing of the little happiness.
4. If you have not done it yet, seize the fragment of time left you to make your peace with God through Jesus Christ.
(W. Hoyt, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.