September 10, 2017: Share Earthly & Spiritual Resources

Posted on : Sep 7th, 2017 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

There is certainly no lack of need in our world.  I am both amazed and sometimes shocked at the level of need that is present today.  It seems that almost every evening there is at least one story in the news about a tragic or unexpected death and most of them conclude with an appeal to help with funeral expenses through a “GoFundMe” page.  Then there are the larger needs, such as requests for financial support for those whose lives were destroyed by famine or natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey, and now, Hurricane Irma.

As we’ve discovered in our Bible Study with the book of Acts, ever since the beginning of our Christian story, people have been in need.  And in response, the followers of Jesus shared their resources.  Most of those who followed Jesus lived in poverty.  Jesus lived in poverty.  He simply trusted that whatever he and his followers needed would be supplied by God.  That seems to have been the case. I don’t know of any scripture where the disciples or Jesus ever were not provided for!

In the great classic scripture about the feeding of the 5,000, the message of the story is that it is only because a young child offered to share the little he had (5 loaves of bread and two fish) that the miracle could happen.  Jesus blessed the bread and gave thanks to God for the fish.  Not only was everyone fed, but they had baskets and baskets of leftovers to share.  There was a reality in the ancient world that is not often told when looking at this parable. In the ancient world people traveled on foot.  There were no cars, no buses, no public transit. There were also no McDonalds, Chipotle or In-N-Out Burger restaurants.  What did these folks do for food?  They usually brought it with them.  It was not at all uncommon at the time to have “deep pockets” (yes, that is the origin of that phrase) inside one’s tunic.  Those pockets often held bread and dried fish.

While the disciples are carrying on, complaining that the crowd is too large for them to feed with their limited resources, the truth of the matter was that a lot of people in that crowd had bread and fish tucked in their deep pockets.  It was only the little kid that was willing to share.  So Jesus uses the moment to teach us about the interrelatedness of sharing our earthly and spiritual resources.

We can do remarkably more than we think when we join together in community and share our earthly and spiritual resources.  This Sunday, come and find out a couple ways we can “be the church” as we share earthly and spiritual resources with Syrian Refugees and personal support for homeless persons transitioning to sheltered living.

Blessings,

Dan

~ This Sunday’s Scriptures ~

Matthew 14: 13-21

The story of the feeding of the 5,000.

Now when Jesus heard about the death of John the Baptist, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick.

When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” And Jesus said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

 

I Corinthians 12

Paul reminds us that each of us has a gift to use for the common good of all.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same God who is served, and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of spiritual teachings, to another the interpretation of those teachings. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

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