Searching for....

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sermon 07222012 7th Sunday After Trinity

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.  AMEN.

Let us pray, Lord Jesus Christ, Your food is to do the will of the Father, but we fallen creatures will faint without food.  Yet, You knowing our shortcomings provide for our every need.  May we be fed with Your Word and strengthened with the true knowledge that You give us what we need, even when we can’t and don’t ask for it.  For we pray in the prayer You taught us, “Give us this day our daily bread” and You do provide for us.  Assure us of this Your promise and fulfill it for all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this morning.  AMEN.

In the latest Avengers, when the world is being attacked by the evil tyrant Loki, and all the additional alien creatures, the only hope for the Avengers is to close the intergalactic portal to another world.  Ironically the military sends a nuclear device to destroy New York City in order to protect the rest of the world, but Tony Stark understands the problem and sees an opportunity for a different outcome.  The only way to close the portal and prevent the destruction of New York and the world is for a nuclear device with enough energy to disrupt the free flow of energy.  So Iron Man guides the nuclear war head directly into the worm hole and thus closes the portal to another world and in miraculous fashion saves the world.

From our Gospel this morning, Jesus tells the disciples that they have a problem.  The problem isn’t aliens like in Avengers, but it is a “large crowd…[that] had nothing to eat”.  Unlike Tony Stark who was a genius and could quickly analyze a situation and figure out a game plan to remedy the situation, the disciples are like the proverbial deer in the headlights.  The disciples who have previously seen Jesus heal people, whether paralyzed or a withered hand, cure the man with an unclean spirit, seen Him walk on the water or free a little girl of the unclean spirit somehow do not understand that Jesus knows exactly what He will do.

Jesus in one sense is teaching the disciples that there are consequences with inaction.  Notice He says, “If I send them, [that is the people I have been teaching] away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way”.  We are weak creatures that need sustenance.  Not only do we need physical food, but the disciples and we fallen creatures today want and need to see a miracle.  The disciples put flesh on this by saying, “Where will anyone be able to find enough bread here in this desolate place to satisfy these people?”  The disciples did not understand that Jesus had placed them clearly in this situation in order for His glory to be revealed yet again, to the people, but also to the disciples and we who read this lesson today.

Jesus Christ as God’s only Son says, “I feel compassion for the people because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat.”  Jesus felt complete compassion upon these people that had listened to His teaching, heard Him tell them of the Gospel of salvation and now after three days were hungry and wouldn’t make it to their homes.  Jesus as compassionate Son of God wanted to not only feed their spiritual needs of the sustenance of the Word of God, but wanted to provide for their physical need of their stomachs.

As the redeemer of the world, Jesus Christ asks the disciples a simple question, “How many loaves do you have?”  This question begins a miracle of epic proportion.  Jesus Christ blesses the loaves and the fish and the people are fed.  Not just fish and bread, but the food of heaven from the Master of the Universe Holy Hands.  Jesus Christ gives enough food for four thousand people to be fed.  Now we might consider that a small miracle, but what needs to be understood is that the number counted in Jesus day and time would only have included the men, it would not have included the women and children.  Hence if half of the 4000 men were married that would be 6000 people including wives.  And if only half of the married men had two kids, that would mean that Jesus fed upwards of 8000 people.  Thus, this little miracle of feeding approximately 8000 people is equivalent of feeding nearly twice the size of Goodland in one meal with seven loaves and a few small fish.

Jesus Christ in this one meal shows a deep compassion for the people of God not only in feeding them the Word of God and feeding their spiritual hunger, but clearly feeds the people of God’s bodily hunger as well.  Jesus Christ clearly shows His interest in the needs of the people who came to hear Him speak and stayed three days.  But what about we who come today here in Goodland, KS to hear God’s Word and look for a miracle in our daily lives.

Clearly there are issues in our daily lives that are a need for Jesus Christ to come and relieve us, whether it is rain for our crops, the oppressive heat of summer, sickness in our families, brokenness of relationship between parents and children, friends and family or church and God.  We come here today asking God to come down in a more tangible way and enter into our lives.  And Jesus Christ clearly says to us today that He has compassion upon us.

We find Jesus compassion in a promise that He taught His disciples and we pray even today.  In the words of the Lord’s Prayer, the Fourth Petition we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread”.  Martin Luther writes:

“What does this mean?  God gives daily bread indeed without our prayer, also to all the wicked; but we pray in this petition that He would lead us to know it, and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

What is meant by daily bread?  [Daily bread is] Everything that belongs to the support and wants of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, field, cattle, money, goods, a pious spouse, pious children, pious servants, pious and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, discipline, honor, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.”
Jesus Christ clearly promises to provide for our needs even when we do not pray and in miraculous fashion gives us what we need to survive.  May we like the disciples who witnessed Jesus feeding the people with seven loaves and a few small fish lay claim to God’s promises to us today in and through His Word and understand the miracle of the gift of God’s Son and Savior Jesus Christ.  For Jesus Christ came down from heaven and in and through the miraculous birth from the Virgin Mary began His life here on earth to offer us life and salvation by going to the Cross.  Jesus Christ in true servant fashion came to seek and serve we His children through our baptism into His life, death and resurrection in order to offer us the greatest miracle of salvation of our souls by His death on the Cross.  Jesus Christ came to not only perform miracles of healing, but feed our spiritual needs and feed our physical needs and ‘give us this our daily bread’ for all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this morning.  AMEN.
//trial script