John 6: 1-15
After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming towards him, Jesus said to Philip, ‘Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?’ He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, ‘Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.’ One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, ‘There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?’ Jesus 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. Then 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. When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, ‘Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.’ So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. When 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.’
When 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.
It is a new week and we are back to John chapter six with a powerful biblical account to kick off a new week. It is the feeding of the 5000. The Passover meal was drawing close as Jesus and the disciples traveled along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Great crowds of people were following so they could listen to the teachings of Jesus. But there was a problem. They had no food and the people were getting hungry.
You know the rest of the story. Andrew finds a small boy who has fives loaves of barley bread and two small fish. From there it is all in the hands (literally in the hands) of Jesus. He blessed that small quantity of food and everyone ate until they were full to overflowing.
Let’s shift the story just a bit. What if we brought this same theme into our worship space here at The Parker United Methodist Church? What if we moved the calendar forward to a time twenty days from today? It would be March 31, 2013. That date is best known as Easter Day 2013.
Now, let’s imagine people, crowds of people, who have been invited to hear about Jesus. They come with various degrees of expectation. They arrive in the parking lot with anxieties and a bit of confusion as they get out of the car and try to find the right door to enter for worship. The kids are nervous, the parents are wondering if they are dressed correctly, and there is a heightened sensitivity that is best expressed in one word, FEAR!
Now, imagine that we are here to greet them. We welcome them in, make space for late arrivals, and provide food for their souls. Do you think folks who show up on Easter are hungry? Let’s get ready to feed them well!