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Sunday, July 14, 2013

07142013 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, the vision that the disciples saw of the all the people was overwhelming them to the point of seeing not people, but problems.  Enable us to see our world not of the problems or circumstances we daily face, but of the opportunity to trust in You more fully and understand You are here to provide for our needs.  For You foresaw the need of a Savior and came in order to free us from the bonds of sin, death and the devil through Your crucifixion on the Cross of Calvary for all of mankind, including all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this morning.  AMEN.

As the settlers ventured across the flat plains of Indiana and Illinois in the 1800’s the Gateway to the West became St. Louis.  Now built up and gleaming with the arch along the river front the visions seen by the settlers were not of perils, but possibilities.  What lay to the West was free land that only needed tamed and the vision of the first settlers fueled the dreams of countless individuals, but also paralyzed others who would return East after being overcome by the heartache and hindrances of the vast plains.

In our Gospel this morning we encounter the disciples like the people who turned back East after putting their blood, sweat and tears into the land West of the Mississippi who had failed and doubted the possibilities and lost the vision of the potential.  In the Gospel, the disciples see a large group of people that are hungry, in need of dinner and sustenance, but without an apparent way of making this a reality out on the middle of nowhere with their master, Jesus Christ.  The disciples vision is simply clouded by the problem that they face right in front of them of the hungry people who had stayed and listened and learned from Jesus Christ teaching.

Jesus Christ on the other hand looked with the clarity of sight that only a perfect person could have at the people and had compassion.  Just as Bethany Hamilton from the Films of Faith this past week in Soul Surfer felt compassion for the people of Thailand who had lost everything with the wave of the Tsunami, Jesus as well felt compassion for the people and the perilous reality they had of not having enough food after having been there hearing His teaching.

The disciples in seeing with the eyes of this world, lacked the vision of Jesus Christ.  The disciples saw this problem of the lack of food with a clear lack of potential and possibility that existed because not only of the sin in their lives, but their lack of seeing the vision that was clearly right in front of them.  The vision of Jesus Christ and what He could do that had been a part of their reality not days and weeks before as recorded in Mark.

Jesus had just prior to this passage, healed demon possessed women, walked on the water, fed 5000 people and stilled the storm.  All of this was a result of Jesus not only being Who He was, the Son of God, incarnate in Human form, but clearly demonstrating for the people of Israel and His disciples a small part of the potential that He could fulfill while here on earth.  This was the vision that the Old Testament Prophets saw and knew would be fulfilled through Jesus Christ.

Yet, the clear vision for the disciples would only become a reality through Jesus Christ.  The Word made flesh that dwelt among us.  This is what Jesus Christ clearly was born for, destined to do and became for all of mankind.  From our Gospel Jesus could see the doubt and desperation in the disciples eyes.  Jesus could see clearly the cloudy vision of the disciples caused by sin in their lives, but manifest by the people in front of them who were hungry and would not make it to town to be fed.  The disciples could not clearly see the vision of the reality that Jesus Christ was offering them.

The reality that Jesus Christ was offering them was of Jesus performing a miracle of creating something from literally nothing.  Jesus Christ was prepared to feed the disciples, the people and we today the food of eternal life if only they and we would see with the eyes of faith and clearly see Jesus Christ not only as a person Who could teach, but the Lord of the Universe Who could and would satisfy their and our immediate need of being fed.  Jesus Christ took the seven loaves and the few fish and in divine fashion fed the people a meal that the disciples could not clearly understand or believe could occur.  The disciples frame of reference yet again needed adjusted to the reality that Jesus Christ could and would provide for their need.

This same adjustment we need today as well.  When we go to get our eyes checked and we leave with a new pair of glasses or contacts, our previous perception of reality may have been foggy.  But with our looking through the lens of Jesus Christ, our reality is brought into focus and made crystal clear of what Jesus can and does do in our lives.  This is the reality we find when we understand fully Jesus Christ death on the Cross of Calvary and see these miracles not as a proof, but as a reality that we share with each other and our community of faith through the story shared with us through Holy Scriptures.  We wonder if God could perform this kind of miracle today, whether it is rain for our crops, healing of relationships between husband and wife, parents and children, father-in-law or mother-in-law, brothers and sisters or even between fellow members of the Body of Christ.  But the reality is that when we look with the eyes of Christ, or with the frame of reference of the Cross of Christ, we no longer see with the log in our brothers eyes, but we now see with Jesus Christ as our lens and the forgiveness offered through Him for all of mankind on the Cross of Calvary.

This is the lens that Jesus Christ offers us clearly today and which we can share with one another.  May we put on the glasses of the Cross offered to and for us by Jesus Christ and begin to see with Jesus sight the possibilities of relationship with one another and fulfillment found in perfect relationship with our spouse or child and with each and every one of our brothers and sisters in Christ that sit in the pew with us or behind us, across the aisle or even standing here in the pulpit.  May we look with God’s vision of who He sees and not with our sinful vision that does not trust God to provide for us, whether wheat, corn, money in the collection plate, service for Sky Ranch or even for each other when we need the love of Christ in our lives.  For all of this only occurs because of and through Jesus death for all of mankind, including all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel, broken creatures that we are redeemed by His death on Calvary for each and every one of us gathered here this morning.  AMEN.
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