For the next five Sundays we will focus on the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000. This miracle is in all four Gospels. We will be reading from the Gospel of John which is covered by an entire chapter. John does not include all the miracles of Jesus. As he says in chapter 20:30-31, that he could have included more “but are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that be believing you may have life in his name.” So, every time he does include a miracle John explores its meaning. He savors the story. As we journey with John through this chapter, I would like to challenge you to savor the story along with John. Jesus and the disciples had gone to a deserted place to get away from the crowd and rest – meditate. For the next five weeks will you take up the challenge of taking twelve minutes out of your day to meditate on the Word of God or be in prayer or just be at peace with creation. John would love for his readers to take up the challenge so we could have deep, fulfilling “life” in Jesus. Jesus led the disciples to a meditative place.
Dr. Andrew Newberg, an American neuroscientist now at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital would urge us on as well. He has done research with people from various religious traditions, who meditate. He terms their experience as enlightenment. They lose a sense of self and experience a place of peace with no space and time. He found them are less stress-prone, more able to break bad habits, including anger and improve collaboration and creativity skills and lead happier, more satisfying lives. It may even slow the brain’s aging process.
The feeding of the 5,000 begins with Jesus wanting to do something for the crowd that had followed him to his quiet place. Philip tells Jesus that the 200 denarii would not be enough for everyone to get an appetizer. Andrew bringing forward a boy who has a normal lunch of five small loaves and two fish – likely tilapia. You wonder why the young boy had a lunch and no one else did, a caring mother perhaps OR was he the only one who was willing to share? In any case, Andrew says “what is one lunch among so many.” But taken into the hands of Jesus, this small beginning feeds the entire 5,000 men along with their wives and children.
For this first week, as we read through chapter 6, as you take 12 minutes to be in meditation, be mindful that if you put your resources in the hands of God great things can happen.
Just two years ago, I started here at Faith. In that short time, working together, we have enhanced the landscaping, the patio, the media in the worship service, the kitchen, the fire side room, the rest rooms, the new classroom, the office area, most recently security at the church. Members and visitors are returning. Just one year ago, Jeanne and Joe Koenig volunteered to spend two days a week at the church assisting in so many ways, cleaning, filing, calling the city when we were dealing with the homeless, answering the phone with a caring focus on the caller. For months now, Eleanor Diaz has joined us each Tuesday. Now together with other women, 46 lap blankets and 53 large quilts have been completed. We also purchased through grants and gifts refrigerators in the pantry. With the help of many hands, we feed the 5,000, year after year.
Putting our resources together, in the hands of God allowed us to do much with what seems the “little” at times. The Lord’s prayer begins with the words: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus taught us to approach God as a caring parent. Our second step is to link to the will of God and thus bring heaven to earth. At times it may feel like we have a meager lunch or too few appetizers, but in the hands of Jesus little can become much. Let us meditate on the possible.
Lord, we come to you with our meager selves but confident hope. Link our lives to your that mountains might be moved.
Pastor John Bunge
Sunday @ 10 am. Indoors, masks optional for the vaccinated. We do offer a special time for the children. The live stream at 10 am is going well, thanks to Judy for monitoring this.
Refreshments after services have returned. Join us.
CHURCH OFFICE HOURS: This Week office hours, Monday and Tuesday, 9:30 to 3 p.m. July 26 and 27.
- Your preschool committee is hard at work finding a replacement for Christina who recently resigned. Interviews continue do pray for the process.
- Children’s Church continues. Are you interested in assisting? Let us know at the church office or give Robyn Blue a call.
- We have four youth up at CAMP this week.
- Time to get back together again for our monthly Bible Study Group.
- Meeting Saturday, August 7 @ 9:30 am in the Fireside Room for a continental breakfast, devotions, prayer and reconnecting.
- Next pantry this Saturday, July 24.
- The front is continuing to take GREAT shape. Tom Ziech was out in the heat working on the watering system with George Motschall. Joe Koenig, and the Hitters are watering the remaining areas during the week.
- Quilting continues 53 quilts 46 lap blankets –vaccinated volunteers are returning.
MEMBER UPDATES AND CONTINUAL PRAYERS
- Do pray for Michael Shea who faces surgery for a torn reina.
- Fred Mazurier, who has skin cancer on his nose.
- Gerri requests prayers for her friend, Linda.
- Friend of the Cady’s, Leslie, is doing well in combatting throat cancer.
- Kim Guevara’s friends, Don and Edith Besant, who just celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary. Sadly, Edith suffered a stroke and is in a coma.
- Motschall’s niece, Linda Odde, with a brain tumor.
- Roxanne Foss’s niece, Ginny.
- erwin for strength and Lynda for healing. I saw him and Lynda last week delivering eggs to the pantry.
- Jerry Mills working through chemotherapy.
- Continued Godly journey for Brendan, son of Bonnie Strack and Rebecca, daughter of Michael Shea.
- Bill and Judy Martin’s daughter, Laura, living in Kansas.
- Pattie, a friend of the Halls with thyroid cancer, treatments have started.
- Diane Watson who broke her hip was able to be with us at church with her son.
- Wells Santos is home now but will be needing help with digestive issues.
HAVE A MARVELOUS WEEK!