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Tag Archives: John 6

Compassion, Generosity, & Abundance

Our scriptures from Isaiah, Psalms, and Matthew are inter-connected with the themes of Compassion, Generosity, Abundance, and … Food.

In the days prior to my grandma Peggy’s death in 2015, she was informing the care-home staff that her husband was hungry and waiting on his plate. My grandpa Bill had died in 1987. Thus, the morning that our grandma died, my sister envisioned that grandpa became impatient and he took her out for breakfast. An uncle, however, informed her that there is no food in heaven, to which she replied “then I don’t want to go there”.

Thankfully for Amanda, myself, and perhaps a few of you, the Gospel of Luke is continually painting the image of heaven as a grand banquet with space, food, and drink abundant enough for all people.

We know that food is important for our physical wellbeing.

Perhaps, the majority would agree that home-cooked, comfort food is important for mental and emotional wellbeing.

But, can food be important for our spiritual wellbeing?
A study may imply, that food is indeed important to our spiritual wellbeing.

The survey asked persons to rank practices or otherwise per their personal sense of spiritual fulfillment. It had surprising results for religious institutions and faith communities, for the practices of prayer/meditation and attending worship were ranked among the least fulfilling. While the most fulfilling would become referred to as the 4 Fs:

  • Family;
  • Friends;
  • Fido (companion pets); and
  • Food.

You might be puzzled, or perhaps amused by these 4 Fs. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2020 in Sermons

 

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Offending the Insider

We have been on a journey, which concludes this morning.

The journey explored one of the most challenging teachings in Christianity throughout these centuries, but it begun four weeks ago with the feeding of the 5,000 (God Provides).

The crowd continues to follow Jesus, who begun to question if these people were only seeking for their physical needs and wants to be met through controlling and manipulating Jesus and his miracles. Jesus questions if these people desire the true Bread of Life, the bread that lasts, sustains, nourishes, and transforms them (and us) into the people God has called them (and us) to be (The Nature of Our Quest).

We witness the crowd struggling with Jesus’ teaching. The crowd questions whether Jesus is legitimately talking about his actual, physical flesh and blood. The crowd pushes Jesus “it is not REALLY your body and blood because you are talking metaphorically, right?” (Offending the Crowd).

Jesus continues to insist that he is not speaking metaphorically.

The majority of the crowd left, while other persons closer to Jesus continued but echoing the concerns and thoughts of those who had turned back.

“Is Jesus serious?” Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2018 in Sermons

 

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Fed by Wisdom

Due to technical difficulties, there is not video or audio recording of the sermon “Fed by Wisdom” as preached on 19 August 2018, but here are a few ponderings.

Author Dan Brown writes of Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor and famed symbologist who often become intertwined in elaborate adventures. The third novel is The Lost Symbol, which incorporates the Masonic Temple instead of the Roman Catholic Church. This passage is a flashback as being recalled by Langdon. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2018 in Sermons

 

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Offending the Crowd

We are in this series, this summer of bread, which is one long story we take piece by piece. Thus, it might be helpful to re-cap where we have been.

This morning marks the half-way point.

It begun two Sundays (God Provides) ago with the miraculous feeding of the 5,000.
Jesus was met on the shoreline by a crowd who was not just hungry for his teachings, but who were also hungry physically. The disciples pointed this out complaining they did not have the resources to feed all these people, but a boy in the crowd had 3 fish and 5 loaves of bread.  Although it was not nearly enough to feed the 5,000 people, yet after each had their fill and the bread fragments were collected it filled 12 baskets. God provides abundantly, it is our job to share that grace.

Afterwards, Jesus wants to get away from the crowd who now is seeking to make him king, in order that they might manipulate and control him to continue performing these miracles to meet their physical needs and wants. Jesus flees, but the crowd catches up with Jesus and his disciples.

Last week (The Nature of Our Quest), Jesus’ words were a little harsh. He asked the crowd if they sought him and his teachings or were simply seeking more bread, more physical food to eat. Jesus tells the crowd he is the bread, the living bread, that has come down from Heaven.

This morning, the crowd is baffled by his statements.
If we are honest with ourselves, we would have been baffled too.

At this time (and still today), the Israelites/Jews who uphold the dietary restrictions in the Torah (Teachings) would have found this particular teaching of Jesus not only unbelievable but sacrilegious.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2018 in Sermons

 

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The Nature of Our Quest

This is the Bread of Life, a time in this church year consisting of five Sundays.

Jesus teaches the masses, including us, about our need for bread and how he is the ultimate bread that sustains us for the long haul. Jesus, the Bread of Life, is the grace of God that carries us from one day into the next.

It is not an easy lesson (due to Holy Communion implications) and the crowd cannot embrace it, but this morning is only the beginning.

We are missing a small portion of scripture between Sunday (God Provides) and today.
On Sunday, Jesus fed the 5,000 people with 3 fishes and 5 loaves of bread. It was not nearly enough to feed the crowd, but abundantly the remaining fragments of bread filled 12 baskets. It is one of Jesus’ most infamous and beloved miracles showing God’s abundance.

The crowd had been physically hungry. The crowd had been fed.
The crowd existed in a time of social and political unrest. It was unpleasant.
The crowd would have been desperate and among the poorest of the poor.

The missing scripture is that the crowd responded:

“Ah ha! We got our fill of bread. We got our need met by this miracle worker.
If we give him the title of “King”, making him our leader,
we will have the ability to manipulate him to continue performing these miracles for us.”

Does this sound healthy? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2018 in Sermons

 

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God Provides

This morning, we have one of the most famous stories in all of scripture:
Jesus miraculously feeds a crowd of about 5 thousand people.

Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000 echoes the miraculous feeding performed through Elisha, as read in our Old Testament text.

These stories had me pondering a common phrase heard: “God provides”.

Although it is true that God provides for all our needs, we still bear witness to people who go without clean clothing, food, or shelter in our world. We struggle to reconcile this, because we also desire to distance ourselves from the need; thus, limiting our notion of how God provides for us and neighbor.

Perhaps, the most infamous statement of Pope Francis to date is:

You pray for the hungry. 
Then you feed them.
That is how prayer works. 

God provides abundantly.
We, humans, are stewards of those gifts with the responsibility to ensure all in need have access to and receive the necessary basics: clothing, food, and shelter.

Due to the abundance, it is easy to question why homelessness and hungry exists.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2018 in Sermons

 

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