Welcome to this morning's Worship service, which includes a Love Feast.
Worship today is led by Rev Christine Fox (in church and online this week)
From August 1st, we will be worshipping in church each week and also via Zoom, with a recording of the Zoom meeting published on Monday morning. If you are not currently on our mailing list for Zoom please contact Rev Christine: email@example.com
Click below on the red play button to start this morning's service video. You can also find the service on YouTube here if it isn’t working on the blog.
God Bless x
If you'd like to connect with Grangewood please contact us.
Rev Christine Fox: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to all those who have been part of putting together this weeks service.
Below you can find this weeks Message. Click here to find the whole worship sheet.
This is disciple Andrew’s story - John has made him a star in the tale of this miracle. Andrew’s ability to speak out radical ideas before logic kicks in means he gets the nearest to passing the test that Jesus had set for Philip
5000 men plus women and children have followed Jesus and now they are out on the mountainside with nothing to eat. Seeing the crowd coming to him Jesus asks Philip - ‘where shall we find bread for these people to eat?’ Philip only sees human logic – he points out that it would take far too much money to buy bread for this many. But Andrew had caught the glimpse during his days with Jesus that ‘all things are possible for God’. He had been open to the faith of the child who had offered their lunch, and before thinking in the ways of human logic, he had spoken up – ‘Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two fishes’.
And Jesus had taken them and thanked God and they had fed everyone, with basketfuls to spare.
But that isn’t the whole story of what Andrew said – as soon as he’d pointed out the boy with the small lunch he questioned his own statement, adding ‘but how far will they go among so many?’
Thinking about Andrew I realised that my Mum does that same thing – boldly she speaks words of wisdom into a situation – but immediately questions what she has just said. Often her words are a bit challenging or at least not what the hearer expected – and it made me wonder if this questioning of one’s own statement is a defence mechanism – Get in quick with the logical counter argument before someone else does ! ( I wonder who that over-logical ‘someone’ was.)
I’m not saying there’s no place for human logic but when we look at Jesus’ life and death we find that he is always defying human logic. And he tests his disciples to see if they are willing to go with his way, that isn’t always the ‘logical’ way. And when one of them steps out on that new way of trusting God for a solution to a problem that we can’t solve ourselves, then Jesus receives those tentative steps and takes that germ of faith and enables it to multiply and to be a huge blessing.
So how can this story of Andrew and Jesus and a small lunch help us to grow in our own faith lives?
One may be to find encouragement for those of us who tend to speak before thinking; often criticized for being illogical and maybe even having learned to get in quick before anyone else points out the lack of logic. Be encouraged that God will sometimes be able to speak through you. I’ve been guilty myself of this but sometimes I’ve found God has spoken to someone through words that I don’t even remember saying.
Ask yourself, are you someone who has been afraid to offer the thoughts or ideas that come to you– maybe because you have been put down or belittled? Though people may be cruel, take courage from the fact that Jesus receives the offering of the child-like without speaking negative words. Jesus knew what it was like for his own words to be dismissed; before this miracle John records Jesus’ response to the Jewish leaders, but even to them he says ‘do not think that I will accuse you’.
And then - maybe we need to ask ourselves – have we been guilty of dismissing new ideas spoken to us from among our own church family – do we hear the voice of the ones who are the ‘least’ likely in our minds to have some thing to say to us, if we use human logic? Would we pass Jesus’ test of being open to God’s way? If you know you are someone who cant get away from human logic and find it hard not to speak words that dismiss or diminish, then look to Jesus. We believe he is alive and with us by his Spirit who will remind us and teach us if we only ask him. Voices that urge us to care for God’s creation and celebrate its diversity may be challenging but are the only way that those who hunger will be fed.
Don’t ever forget the power that Jesus has. After this amazing miracle he walked on water – and after dying he rose again from death. Jesus is not bound by the logic or even the physical laws of this world! So if we are going to follow him, like him we need to receive those words and thoughts and wisdom often tentatively offered by the least likely in our church, though they sound illogical to human ears. If we are to be like Jesus then we will want to be encouragers and enablers – and if that doesn’t come naturally to us then we will eagerly desire that the Spirit reminds us and teaches us. The Holy Spirit will be trying to speak through us too – so for some of you who may have been put down in the past then I urge you to take courage and be like Andrew who, after all, played a star role in this favourite miracle of all time; a little bit of encouragement is Jesus’ way of feeding the ‘hungry crowds’ in ways far beyond what we can imagine!