Good Morning! Welcome to this mornings CTS service.
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The Message today is from Rev Christine Fox We particularly pray today for the people of Beirut in Lebanon, click here to find a prayer from the Methodist Church and ways to support.
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Message - Rev Christine Fox
Once again we find Jesus’ teaching connected with food! Food is important in our lives basically to physically live, but it also gives us the enjoyment of smells and flavours and textures of food and also the opportunities to share a meal with others. In various ways food has become more important these last months – some have missed going out for meals, or even just a coffee, but many people have been cooking more; I’ve been going through magazine clippings of recipes. Food parcels have been delivered to people shielding at home (this is the last week so remember to check those that we know can still get food). People started lockdown with stockpiling food; and now obesity is being tackled – some of those who are overweight may have turned to food in an attempt to satisfy other needs that have not been met. All people need physical food, and I believe that all people have a need for spiritual food too.
That word all is part of the Methodist DNA – phrases like ‘all can be saved’ and ‘do all the good you can’ are part of our heritage – and I’ve chosen the theme Jesus feeds all – In our reading we saw him satisfy everyone’s physical hunger as well as their hunger for his words of spiritual nourishment when he fed the 5000.
All have a need for ‘food that satisfies the soul’. Isaiah voiced Gods offer of such food – ‘come to me all you thirsty, come buy and eat, come to me that you may live’. And just as God called Isaiah to speak out for him to share that message, so Jesus called the disciples to do their part in feeding those 5000 plus hungry folk. So they came back to him with a small amount of food. It wasn’t much but they offered it to Jesus. Jesus then took that food, broke it and gave it back to them to distribute – and it was enough to feed all who were there.
And it was enough to feed those who weren’t there too – 12 baskets full symbolically were enough to feed all 12 tribes of Israel. Placed into Jesus’ hands, whatever we can offer ourselves or encourage others to offer he will use to sustain and satisfy many! we can trust him.
What does this look like in our lives? We know God loves all people, because it was demonstrated by Jesus, so we want to follow that example. That love works out in doing what each of us can in treating all people well – no matter whether they look like me, do what I would do or come from where I live – the ones who’ve got the message that they don’t matter – the ones that forget to social distance, the quiet ones who others assume are doing fine but they aren’t. We want all these people and more to know that they are loved – and we do what we can, but many of us worry that someone is being missed out. But if we have day by day offered our day to Jesus to take and transform then we have done all we can.
And if we are in danger of forgetting that it’s not us who feeds everyone but Jesus – he says to us too – come all who are heavy burdened and I will give you rest. Working with Jesus, offering every small crumb of care and love, help and forbearance into his hands, be sure that he will take it and use it beyond your imagining to feed even those you don’t know.
as individuals – and as church – we offer what we can and through Jesus’ taking and breaking and handing back to us, we work together as best we can; and God’s promise to those who answer his call to Come to him will be fulfilled as Isaiah said – nations will come to worship God too.
Take a moment now and imagine like that boy who offered his lunch you are holding out to Jesus what you have – you can’t imagine that it will be of much use to so many – but offer it now. (s)
And now see how Jesus blesses what you offer and uses it to satisfy the needs of someone who passes on that love to another and another, in this way too, Jesus feeds all.