Were you with us on Celebration Sunday for the Amazed by God campaign? If so, you might remember hearing Luke’s version of the feeding of the 5000. You might want to look back at Luke’s version in chapter nine so you can compare it with what you just read in the Gospel of John. In John’s account we meet a young boy who has five small barley loaves and two small fish. The boy is introduced to Jesus by Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, as the miracle begins to unfold. Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, broke the loaves and shared them with the people. In that moment, people were fed and hope was restored through the gift of a young boy. In just a few days we will be gathering for a wonderful candlelight worship experience on Christmas Eve. The flame of the Christ-candle will be shared from person to person until everyone in the sanctuary has a first-hand encounter with the light. It will start with one small flame but it will become a beautiful moment as the words of Silent Night begin to feed the soul. When I connect the beauty of Christmas Eve candlelight with that hillside of hungry people, I remember that the offering of one boy became a meal for many. I remember that it all began with Andrew who introduced the boy to Jesus and invited him to share. I wonder who you will invite to join the candlelight glow on Christmas Eve. I wonder what will happen in their heart as the light of the world begins to capture their attention. I wonder if they will be fed to the point that they proclaim, “Surely this is the Prophet who is come into the world.” It is never too early to offer an invitation!
John 6:1-15 6
After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. 2A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. 3Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. 4Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. 5When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” 6He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. 7Philip answered him, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” 8One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” 10Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. 11Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” 13So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. 14When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.” 15When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.