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Park Grove Methodist Church 2021 ©


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Home

An at home/on-line Worship

For Sunday 25th July 2021

( Mo Onyett )

Live Worship on

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Sunday

10.30am & 6.30pm


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Worship at Home


Call to Worship


The Lord is loving and gracious, worthy of worship with all of our hearts, with all of our minds, with all of our strength. He alone is worthy of our praise.


Hymn: 363 Singing the Faith


My Jesus, my Saviour,

Lord there is none like you.

All of my days I want to praise

the wonders of your mighty love.

My comfort, my shelter,

tower of refuge and strength,

let every breath, all that I am,

never cease to worship you.


Shout to the Lord all the earth, let us sing,

power and majesty praise to the King.

Mountings bow down

and the seas will roar

at the sound of your name.

I sing for joy at the work of your hands.

Forever I love you, forever I’ll stand.

Nothing compares to the

promise I have in you.


Darlene Zschech (b.1965)  (CCLI 7895)


Prayer of Adoration


Holy God, mighty and immortal, you are beyond our understanding!

You are more powerful than we can ever imagine.

Yet you let us find our own way – our own way in the world, and our own way to you.


Some of your mystery is unravelled for us, through your son, our saviour, Jesus Christ.

We see your glory reflected in his face, and through his life, death and resurrection,

we see a glimpse of your true compassion.

By his light alone, can we find our way to you.


As even Jesus needed to spend time with you in prayer,

we come to you in prayer today, in the presence of your Holy Spirit,

to refresh our understanding of you.


Through the words we speak, through the songs we sing, through the prayers and the silence, we share together, may we encounter you afresh today.

Amen.


Prayer of confession


Loving and caring God,

we bring you our praise for the blessings we have from you.

We bring you thanks for the people who love us and care for us no matter what,

we are sorry that sometimes we forget how generous you are,

and we are sorry that we forget to be generous to those around us.

Forgive us Lord so we can make a fresh start today, by your grace.

Amen


Scripture Reading: John 6.1-21


Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near.

When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages [a] to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.


Jesus Walks on the Water


When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. When they had rowed about three or four miles,] they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened.

But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.


Feeding the multitude


I know, you've heard it all before,

your jaw no longer hits the floor

when the disciples don't need to visit the Store.


There's a few things I want mention,

which may have escaped your attention,

like Jesus and the 12's food abstention.


Why was the boy the only one with lunch?

Perhaps he knew or just had a hunch

that he'd be staying out late with the Jesus bunch.


What about how the people were fed?

Was it Jesus, or his disciples instead,

who gave out the food until all had bread?


What was it that Jesus was showing?

Was it the miracle of bread & fish growing?

Or was it that sharing keeps the food supply Going?


How much could the crowd actually hear?

Surely without a mic the sound wasn't clear!

Perhaps it was actions not words bringing cheer.


Where on earth did those baskets come from?

If they weren't full of food, why bring them along?

There's also no word where the leftovers had gone!


After the picnic the disciples are shattered

We're not told what time the crowds all scattered

but perhaps John didn't think that mattered.


The disciples left by boat to their next location,

Jesus stayed behind on this occasion.

Was this unusual? We've no explanation!


So even if you have heard it all before

Reading it again can reveal something more

If only we take the time to explore.


Reflection


I think it's these little details that give us even more food for thought (sorry I couldn't resist that!)

I want to pick up just some of the points from my poem by way of reflection:

● Why was the boy the only one with any lunch?

● How much could the crowd actually hear?

● What was it that Jesus was showing?


Why was the boy the only one with any lunch?

We've been busy preparing for our camping holiday next week. We always take some food with us, mainly breakfast food with enough for the occasional lunch or dinner. We tend to go out to eat, but with me having complicated dietary needs as well as needing step free access there are times it feels easier to have a simple meal in the tent.


It was packing up the food to take with us that made me wonder why all those people set off to follow Jesus but didn't think to take any food with them. According to this account the people had followed Jesus to the other side of the lake. That’s probably 8 miles or so they’d have to walk, it’s not even as though they would have the comfort of knowing there were some 24 hr shops along the way. We don't know much about the crowd; I wonder if they would even have had food to hand - we've no idea if they're well off or not. Apparently, it's more likely those living in the area Jesus departed from were poor, and not necessarily Jewish.


Some have suggested that it wasn’t the case that Jesus made the tiny amount of food stretch to feed 5,000 but that others may have brought food with them and were not willing to share their food until the boy shared his lunch. I’m not sure why it would have been reported in all four gospels if it was a giant bring and share picnic. In my mind it is definitely a miracle!


How much could the crowd actually hear?


It’s been a while since any of us have been in a crowd of people that large, but if you have ever been in a crowd that size, you’ll know it's really hard to hear what speakers are saying without a decent sound system, even if they were standing on a hill. Without some sort of terrifying holy megaphone, I imagine an account of the events would have to have been passed backwards by those at the front. I always imagine Jesus was risking his teaching getting lost in translation here, although in this account we don’t hear that Jesus was teaching the people before he fed them. He saw them coming and sent the disciples to play host by seating them ready for a meal.


What fascinates me about this story is that the miracle occurs in different ways according to how it’s being told. In all accounts Jesus prays for the bread to be blessed and the miracle occurs, not during the prayer, but in the sharing of the food. That’s the case whether Jesus serves the food himself, as he does here, or whether the disciples give out the food on his behalf as in other accounts. At what point I wonder did the disciples and the crowds realise the food was multiplying, way beyond the 5 loaves and 2 fish they began with? However, whether they could see or hear what was going on from a distance might depend on when they realised the meal was miraculous. Perhaps they even saw the food multiply as it was given out. We're told the crowd made the connection between this event and Elisha's sharing of bread (2 Kings 4.42-44), and that Jesus must be a prophet. Imagine that rumour going around and the buzz among the people. Maybe this is one of those situations where actions speak louder than words? However, they still didn’t understand Jesus’ true identity. (Maybe that was the reason he felt the need to take a midnight stroll across the lake?)


What was it that Jesus was showing?


Sharing is certainly the stand out point for me when I’ve been thinking about this reading. If the miracle occurs in the sharing of the food, perhaps those who are working to reduce food poverty are continuing this miracle today. I don't condone the policies which have necessitated the existence of so many food sharing schemes, but all those who contribute food, those who distribute it, and those who share in the food being given out are all witnesses to the miracle of sharing. Jesus was working to challenge the injustices in society, not by protest but by sharing. He shared a taste of the kingdom of God by demonstrating God's inclusive love in this powerful way. Sharing food with all who were present, no questions asked and without hesitation.

How can we share something of Jesus's message through our actions? A few years ago Church Action on Poverty set up a café at the Greenbelt festival. There were tables and chairs set up, with little table decorations and menus on the tables. The menus didn't include any food.

Instead, we were asked to choose actions from the menu such as: reading about food poverty, committing to sign a petition, and donating money to their campaigns. The menu choices were mainly non-financial and things we can do easily to share in ending food poverty. It was a simple but powerful way to encourage people to get involved.


As followers of Jesus, we are called to follow his example in this respect. We must remember that working to change lives is not a solitary activity, but one which requires us to work together.

Jesus did not perform the miracle alone, he said a prayer, but his disciples enabled the miracle by sharing with the many people present.


Hymn: 398 Singing the Faith


There is a Spirit in the air,

telling Christians everywhere:

'Praise the love that Christ revealed,

living, working in our world!'


Lose your shyness, find your tongue,

tell the world what God has done:

God in Christ has come to stay.

Live tomorrow's life today!


When believers break the bread,

when a hungry child is fed,

praise the love that Christ revealed,

living, working, in our world.


Still the Spirit gives us light,

seeing wrong and setting right:

God in Christ has come to stay.

Live tomorrow's life today!


When a stranger is not alone,

where the homeless find a home,

praise the love that Christ revealed,

living, working, in our world.


May the Spirit feel our praise,

guide our thoughts and change our ways.

God in Christ has come to stay.

Live tomorrow's life today.


There is a Spirit in the air,

calling people everywhere:

praise the love that Christ revealed,

living, working, in our world.


Damian Lundy (1944-1996)  CCLI 7895)


Prayers of Intercession


We place our planet into your hands, the tides and seasons, the incredible way it sustains life, and the powerful way it affects our existence. We thank you that there is food for all.

Help us to ensure that it is shared and not wasted.


We place our leaders into your hands, politicians and monarchs, church leaders and corporations. We pray for a just world, where your love and mercy reign, and all are protected, supported and nurtured.

We place our country into your hands, the people, the institutions and the way of life.


We pray for those who are hungry this day, and those who have the power to change that.

We pray for all those in poverty and all those fighting to end poverty.

We place our community into your hands, those we know and those we don’t. Those who are in a time of great need right now. We pray we may be your hands and feet in this place.


We place ourselves into your hands, trusting that you know our needs, what we hunger and thirst for. We give ourselves to play our part in your plan.


We place this prayer into your hands, in Jesus’ name.

Amen


End Hunger UK, 2019 http://www.church-poverty.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Faith-that-all-canbe-fed-worship.pdf


The Lord’s Prayer


Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done;

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen.


Sending Out


Go in love, go in joy, go in hope, go in peace;

go out into the world as friends of Jesus,

spreading the word of Christ through hospitality and love for others.


The Grace


May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship the Holy Spirit be with us all, evermore.

Amen






Mo Onyett, (Student Presbiter)


Daily Worship


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