Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Daredevil Duck, Part 2

This is part of a series of posts that are a sermon I preached at Milton United Methodist Church on July 25.  The sermon was based on Ephesians 3:14-21 and John 6: 1-21.  

As John 6 begins, Jesus is being followed by a large crowd of people.  They had seen how Jesus was healing the sick – they had seen these signs of God’s presence. So they followed Jesus.  He went up on a mountain and sat down with his disciples, and then they look around, and there are more than 5000 people gathered in front of them.  Gathered there in faith, motivated by what they had seen him do.

Jesus asks Philip, one of the disciples, a very important question – one that we need to hear, too.  “Where are we going to buy bread for these people to eat?”  

Why is that an important question?  Why does he even ask it?  These people had followed him, without his invitation, and gathered around while Jesus and those he travels with are sitting on the side of a mountain.  Why is it the disciples’ job to figure out how to feed all of these people?  

Why? Because it is.  Because Jesus says so.  Because this is why we are a church – to spread the good news of God.  When people are hungry, Jesus calls us to feed them – whether the bread they are searching for is made of flour and yeast, or the good news of life in Christ.  Jesus asks the question of Philip and of us because feeding God’s people is our job.  Job #1.

And what was Philips’s answer?  It’s in verse 7: "Six months' wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.”  It’s interesting to me – and a little ironic – that all of the 5000 people are gathered because they have seen what Jesus can do, but Philip doesn’t see that at all.  All he sees is how many hungry people there are and how few resources he believes the disciples have.  It is a perfect example of seeing ministry through the eyes of scarcity.  

Have you ever experienced that? I know I have.  Perhaps you, like me, have been in church committee meetings, discussing a ministry issue, when scarcity rears its head.  The problem is discussed, and it seems to always circle back to statements like: We don’t have enough resources to do what needs to be done.  We don’t have enough money, enough interested people, enough time.  Sometimes it seems like all we have are eyes that see scarcity – and eyes that only see scarcity don’t see Jesus in the room at all.  

Continued in next post

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home