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Gospel centred sermons, based on the lectionary often in advance.

Jul 27, 2011

I want you to put yourselves in the place of each of the characters in the story of the feeding of the 5000. 

Who are you more like?

Are you like the crowd is there some emptiness, some need which has to be filled? (It could be a need for food, healing, hope, meaning or even material things.)

Are you more like the disciples? Is Jesus calling you to fill the emptiness of the world with hope or food or healing? Is Jesus calling you to some ministry which seems too big for you? Beyond your reach?

Or are you more like the young child? You have something to give, but it seems pointless. How could my small donation fill the stomaches of the hungry? How can my small gift or ability or idea bring help to others? (John 6:9)

Today's story reminds us that as impossible as it might seem God (in Jesus) can and will use your small resources, abilities and efforts to fill the emptiness of ourselves and others. (Not only fill it but there will be left overs as well!)


Andrew Gillies
eight and a half years ago

NOTES OF SERMON
Tonight I want you to put yourselves in the place of each of the characters in the story. That is each of the characters apart from Jesus.

First imagine yourselves as part of the crowd. You're hungry. You're hungry in two ways - first you're hungry because it's been a long day....
- Second you're hungry because there's something missing.... - Jesus had compassion - sheep without a shepherd.
But by the end of the day you've been fed.... Hungry to be healed to be made whole.... Jesus heals.. Hungry for direction and hungry for hope.... Jesus teaches... Finally you're hungry for food and Jesus feeds you. You're sitting, you can't see anything but then....

This is the reality for many Christians today.... God provides.... Me....

If you are one of the crowd, empty, hungry for food....

Second. Imagine you are one of the disciples. You see the people's need for food, you probably also see the peoples need for spiritual wholeness, physical healing too but right now the urgent thing is for a meal. So you say to Jesus.... What does Jesus do? He says you feed them. How do you feel? You know that.... And that's just food for the body... What about that hunger for healing wholeness and hope? We don't have....

In Australia today our main hunger is mostly not about food.... we do need food.... money does not make us happy....
but there are lots of people in the world... It's overwhelming...
Yet just as Jesus said to the disciples he says to us "You give them something to eat..." You feed them... When we look at all the hunger of the world.... You are the one who he is asking to fill the emptiness of Capella.... of Australia... and all the world....

Can we feed the people? Can we answer Jesus' call to fill to give them something to eat? Is Jesus calling you to that ministry? If we are honest the answer is no, we cant fill...

Now we'll come back to the disciples, but first I want you to imagine that you are the small boy. [John 6] The one person who has some food. Five small loaves and a couple of dried fish. What could be done with this among such a big crowd. Surely what I am bringing can not make a real difference? How could Jesus use this?

Perhaps you feel sometimes that you do not have anything much to contribute to God. Perhaps you feel that you are not good... bright... strong... wealthy... imaginative...

Yet Jesus does take your five bread rolls and two dried fish and somehow he uses them to feed 5000 men not counting women and Children!! It's a miracle and in the end while it is Jesus who does it all, he takes our small efforts, he takes our little bit which perhaps isn't even enough to feed ourselves and uses it to feed countless others.

The disciples could never have fed the crowds by themselves. Yet Jesus says to tem - you feed them. You give them something to eat and through Jesus that's exactly what they do. The disciples like the little boy are included by Jesus in the miracle.

Even though it seemed impossible, the little boy and the disciples fed the whole crowd because Jesus made it possible.

Who are you more like?

Are you like the crowd is there some emptiness, some need which needs to be filled.... ?

Are you more like the disciples? Is Jesus calling you to fill the emptiness of the world with hope or food or healing? Is Jesus calling you to some ministry which seems too big for you? Beyond your reach?

Or are you more like the young child? You have something to give, but it seems pointless. How could my small donation fill the stomaches of the hungry? How can my small gift or ability or idea bring help to others?

Today's story reminds us that as impossible as it might seem Jesus can and will use your small resources, abilities and efforts to fill the emptiness. And not just fill it but...

Today's story tells us that if Jesus calls us to do some impossible job, he will provide and do all that is needed to make it possible.

Today's story also reminds us that Jesus can fill our hunger, our emptiness and provide for us, not just enough but more than enough.