Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Beyond 200

BIG LITTLE PEOPLE - Grace D. Chong - The Freeman

The number 200 is neither interesting nor popular. Unlike 100 which speaks of perfection – the highest score one can receive in an examination or a school card – 200 is neither here nor there.

But today, I think the number 200 is special and I want to celebrate it. It’s because this is my 200th Big Little People column!

Which means, I have been writing Big Little People in The Freeman for over eight years. If you are an eight-year-old reading this, you were not even born yet when the first article was published.

* * *

In that first column, entitled “One Very Special Interest,” I wrote about the importance of reading.

Let me quote a part of it:

“Do you love to read?

“If you are reading this, your answer to my question is definitely a yes. Why would you even bother to read this far if you aren’t into reading, right?

“So if you love reading, then you and I share one very special interest. I say special because, aside from writing, reading gives me so much joy.”

So 200 articles later, today, I am wondering whether I have encouraged at least 200 kids to read.  If I have, then I have 200 reasons to really be grateful.

* * *

Since we are talking about the number 200, let’s look at some facts about it.

In the Bible (which I am sure you have been reading through the Christmas season), we find in John 6 a wonderful story about the number 200.

* * *

Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee and a large crowd of people was following him. They had earlier seen signs that he was healing the sick and that made them really interested to see this Man who could do such miracles.

Together with His disciples, Jesus saw the crowd coming toward him. He asked Philip, “Where may we buy bread so that these people may eat?”

Philip was appalled. Where would they get the money to buy bread to feed five thousand people?! So he replied, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.”

During the time of Jesus, one denarius was equivalent to a penny, which was a one-day wage for a laborer. Two hundred denarii then would be 200 pennies, equivalent to the pay of two hundred laborers in one day. Today, that would be worth more than half a million pesos!

* * *

I am sure you know the rest of the story.

There was a boy who had five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus took them and after giving thanks in prayer to God, He multiplied the bread and fish to feed all the men, women and children – as much as they wanted – and there was so much leftover!

Two hundred pennies worth of bread, then, has been seen by some people as a symbol of insufficiency (or not enough).

* * *

Well, I see the number 200 as a symbol of sufficiency (or more than enough). Even if we think we don’t have enough, just as Philip did, God fills up the insufficiency.

Over two thousand years ago, Jesus was born in a lowly manger so that you and me – all sinners – would have more than enough hope to be forgiven of our sins. That’s the reason for Christmas, our one very special interest in celebrating Christmas!

* * *

Beyond today’s 200thBig Little People, I hope to have many more. Merry Christmas to all my readers!  Share with me your Christmas thoughts through my blogsite: www.leavesofgrace.blogspot.com; or email me at: [email protected].










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