Worship at Home for September 18

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost. This Sunday we will continue our stewardship theme: From Bread and the Cup to Faith and Giving. This week we will look at the Feeding of the 5,000, and how this miracle relates to the Bread and Cup.

Thank you to all who helped with Apple Butter on Saturday! We made 166 pints, 34 quarts, and 6 ½ pints. The cost is $10 per quart, $6 per pint and $4 per half pint.

If you would like a home visit, conversation, or home communion, please call me at 573-437-2779 (church) or 57 3-832-2475 (cell).

Announcements:

  • Items for the Dental Kits for the Festival of Sharing are being collected. Look for the box and list of needed items in the back of the sanctuary.
  • Hand Bell Choir at 4:15 on Wednesday.
  • Wednesday Confirmation Class Wednesday at 6:30
  • Choir Practice on Wednesday at 7pm.
  • Tackle Hunger at the Owensville High School Football Game If you come to the game bring a canned good or $1 to benefit Helping Hands.
  • Community Forum on Homelessness at St. Peter’s UCC on Thursday, September 22 at 7pm. The Family Liaisons from the Gasconade R-2 Schools have been invited to speak. This is to be an informative and helpful discussion.

Prayers and Blessings,

Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture Lessons: Jeremiah 8:18-9:1, Psalm 79:1-9, 1 Timothy 2:1-7, Luke 16:1-13, Mark 6:30-44

Sermon: Healing and Feeding

Jeremiah is often referred to as the crying prophet. In Jeremiah 8 we read the prophet’s sorrows and laments. His joy is gone, grief is upon him, and his heart is sick. His heart is not yet broken, but it is sick with grief. Why? For years Jeremiah has been warning the people of Israel that they needed to change their ways or suffer the consequences. Now the time for change has past, and the consequences have arrived. As Jeremiah puts it, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” Or to paraphrase Yogi Berra, the fat lady has sung, and it is done.

Have you ever observed someone whom you care about fail to do what they should no matter how many times you warn them? Such as a student who refuses to study and do her homework. When you encourage her to get the work done, she makes promises but never follow through. When the school year ends, she reacts with shock at the F on her report card and the requirement for summer school. The consequences have arrived and must be faced. We offer up sympathy for her, but it is too late to change the results.

Israel faced far more troubling consequences. The nation was conquered by Babylon, and the people sent into exile. The hurt and pain is deep. Jeremiah longs for someone to do something like travel to Gilead to get that balm made from tree sap. Yes, there is a balm in Gilead that can heal wounds.

Jesus offers a balm for our hurt and wounded souls. Jesus teaches us to love God and others in our hearts and through our actions. As the messiah Jesus can heal and feed the world. This healing and feeding are for all of us.

The feeding of the 5,000 in Mark 6, tells of how Jesus cared for the physical as well as the spiritual needs of those who came to hear him teach. Jesus knows that the people are hungry and tells the disciples to give them something to eat. Of course, the disciples are overwhelmed by this request. How? How are we to find enough food.? The disciples react with the overwhelming impossibilities of the task. They fail to appreciate that through Jesus all things are possible, even with just five loaves and two fish.

After being given the loaves and fish, Jesus looked up to heaven, blessed the loaves, broke the loaves, and gave the loaves to the disciples to be shared. The disciples shared the loaves with the crowd. Can you imagine their surprise when there was enough to feed everyone complete with leftovers? Jesus is truly the bread of life for all!

Did you see the similarities to the sacrament of the bread and the cup when Jesus shared it with his disciples at the last supper? In Mark 14, Jesus took the bread, gave thanks, broke the bread, and gave it to the disciples. This time Jesus tells them this bread is his body and that they are to share this sacrament of the bread and cup with all believers. This bread feeds us for more than just one meal. This is the bread that feeds us into the new life in Christ. This is the bread of the Kingdom of God.

When we lament the state of the world, cry about the failures in our lives, grieve the suffering of those we love. Jesus is there. When we desperately hope for healing, forgiveness and nurture, Jesus is there with the bread and cup. Jesus gives us the bread of life and the cup of the new covenant. Jesus fed the multitude for a day, but feeds all who believe with everlasting nourishment for the soul.

Prayer: O God there is a balm in Gilead which will heal our hearts and souls. There is a balm in the bread and the cup which Jesus’ gives to us. For this we give thanks. Amen.

Prayer list: All who have been on our list in the past and Elizabeth, Cheryl, Dave, David, Ken and Evelyn, Jason, Paulette, Jaqueline, Friends of Shelby, Bobby, Kevin, Jim, Darryl (doing better!), Marilee, Beverly, Jim, Jenny, Dixon’s daughter, Barbara, Melvin, Mitchell, Mahala, Maybelle and Mary, La Rae, and for peace in troubled and war-torn places.

 

 

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