Pr. Jessica's Weekly Message - 7/22/21
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. John 6:11
Dear Disciples of God,
Because we are in the year of Mark in the three-year schedule of Sunday readings, and Mark is the shortest of the four Gospels, in the summertime we are given 5 or 6 Gospel readings from John chapter 6 instead of readings from Mark. They have to make Mark last until Advent starts, after all. So, from this Sunday through August 22nd, you will be hearing from John, with the exception of August 15th, which is the Feast Day of Mary, Mother of Our Lord.
The 6th chapter of John has lots of stories and sayings about bread. Some people call it “the bread discourses.” That sounds awfully dull, so I prefer to think about it as a long meditation on who Jesus is and what his work in the world is, using the image of bread, an essential, ordinary staple of life. In the lesson for this Sunday, Jesus feeds thousands of hungry people who have been looking for him and following him around, with just a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish provided by a young boy in the crowd. It’s a miracle story, and it’s a story that reminds us of Holy Communion (taking bread, giving thanks, breaking it and distributing it), and it’s a story that links Jesus to God’s work throughout the ages to provide for God’s lost people. God fed the Israelites in the wilderness as they wandered and complained, miraculously having quails and manna fall from the sky. Jesus takes what is offered from among the community, made with ingredients provided by God the Creator, and turns scarcity into overabundance, meagerness into plenty. There is enough for all, and plenty to share with those who aren’t yet part of the gathering. This is what our Communion meal is all about as well, and it is what God in Christ does with us, too. He takes our lives, gives thanks for us, blesses us and sends us out to be nourishment for the world.
Get ready for bread, lots and lots of bread, for your bellies and for your souls.
Here are the links you need for this week:
EVENING PRAYER, TONIGHT @ 7PM ON FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsLutheranChurchJerseyCity
THE NINTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, 7/25: The Service of the Word begins at 10:15AM, on Zoom (https://zoom.us/j/2445459917) and on Facebook live-stream:https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsLutheranChurchJerseyCity.
THE BULLETIN IS ATTACHED HERE.
My family will be away for three Sundays, 8/1, 8/8 and 8/15. You will be in great hands with the worship leadership of Jan, Nathan, Chris and Teresa. The services on 8/22 and 8/29 will both be in person as well as live-streamed to Facebook. I hope you can attend one or both Sundays in person.
With Love, in Christ,