Greetings one and all,
Just how much can one person do in one 24 hour segment of time (well, really 29 hours, but I don't want to ocunt the 5 hours of sleep)? A LOT so here's what happened. Daughter Sarah and I left New Berlin at 3:30 on Sunday and took the scenic route because the freeway was stopped still with traffic, got to Chicago, stopped to pick up son-in-law, Nathan and headed downtown to see Charles, Cathy and the grands, Tess and Loki, drove along Lakeshore Drive, stopped at the Jewel Osco for grilling ingredients, parked and hauled up a 10 pound watermelon, along with hamburgers, sausage, salmon and blueberries, was greeted excitedly by over 200 pounds of grands (Tess and Loki), prepared the feast then headed to the beautiful terrace grilling/pool area for a lovely dinner on a beautiful Chicago night, went to bed around 2 a.m., woke up to the lovely kisses of Loki and Tess at 7 a.m. We walked over 20,000 steps on Monday according to Sarah and Cathy's fitbits, went to the park, a really cool book sale, a French Market for lunch, more walks with pups, watched some television while I put my feet up, ate a celebratory birthday tart and left-overs from lunch, walked the pups again, then Charles brought me to the Amtrak Union Station and I took a train ride to the Milwaukee Intermodal Station where John picked me up and we head back to New Berlin. Yes, I am one tired momma, but I am ever so grateful for the time and experience of spending time with my family. Thank you to Sue Young for leading worship for me during my vacation.
So, now I start preparing for next Sunday's worship. We will gather together for worship on Sunday, August 5th at the Stonington Pavilion (next to the town hall on 513) at 11:15 a.m. (EST) and have a potluck afterwards, along with a drawing of winners for our annual fundraiser raffle and a bean bag competition. Paper products will be provided for our meal. Bring a dish to pass and a lawn chair if you want a front row seat for our games. There will not be worship at either Bethany or Trinity that day so I hope you will join us for a fun day.
Trinity Ladies' Aid will meet on Tuesday, August 14rh at Jack's Restaurant in Rapid River at 12:30 p.m. Please let me know if you plan on attending so I can call in reservations. All women of the community are welcome to join us.
Sewing/Quilting will take place on Monday, August 6th from 9 until noon. Come see what beautiful quilts we are creating for various ministries in the area.
The U.P. State fair is right around the corner. Trinity/Bethany's day for the Conference Six table is Sunday, August 19. If you are interested in taking a two hour shift, just let me know. I will have the free entrance tickets on Tuesday, August 9th so I will bring them to church on Sunday, August 12th.
Here's this week's "Daily Discipleship" for your bible study of the gospel.
Sunday, July 24-30 (B) – John 6:1-21
The Choices of Discipleship: Generous or Greedy?
Focus Question: How does the generosity of Jesus overflow to our generosity towards others?
word of life
“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 (NRSV)
Read John 6:1-21
The lectionary shifts from the Gospel of Mark to the Gospel of John during the next weeks. All four gospels include the story of Jesus feeding the 5000. If you have time, read through all four accounts of the story, looking for similarities and differences. (See Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17) Many of the details are the same in the four gospels. This must have been a well-known and often-told story by the early followers of Jesus.
Note in this passage and throughout John’s gospel the emphasis on signs. The crowd followed Jesus because they had seen the signs of his ministry. In John’s Gospel, Jesus went up the mountain and sat down with his disciples. From his viewpoint, Jesus saw the large crowd and was concerned about their well-being, including if they had adequate food.
1. What is an example of when 5000 people might gather in your community? Imagine that size crowd.
2. What would it take to feed 5000?
Jesus engaged Philip in a problem-solving discussion. Would Philip discern how these people might be fed? Would Philip look to Jesus and his power to solve the problem? Philip was caught up in the practical side of the solutions. There were just not enough funds. Andrew offered a suggestion. At least there was a young boy with five barley loaves and two fish. It didn’t sound like much, but then again, Jesus had done amazing signs.
3. Would you have expected the loaves and fish to adequately feed 5000?
4. Describe the scene.
Jesus requested the crowd to sit down. Then, Jesus began this meal with a similar ritual associated with Holy Communion. He took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed the bread among the hungry crowd.
5. What happened?
The people were fed and there were leftovers. Jesus was so generous in feeding the crowd, there was extravagant abundance. Imagine that degree of generosity. This miracle is yet another sign of the power of Jesus. The people were firmly convinced, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.” (John 6:14 NRSV) The crowd wanted him to be their king, but the time was not right. So he withdrew to the mountain by himself.
Later, after his disciples had left to cross the lake to Capernaum, Jesus came to the boat by walking across the water. The disciples were afraid, but Jesus assured them, “It is I, do not be afraid.” (John 6:20) Performing miracle after miracle, sign after sign, Jesus lived among them.
6. As the disciples went to sleep that night, what might have gone through their minds?
word among us
The lectionary lessons during the next few weeks are part of a long discourse using bread as a theme. To assist in our reflection, a communion hymn will be used as part of Word Among Us. The first hymn for our reflection is “Break Now the Bread of Life” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship, Hymn 235):
Break now the bread of life, dear Lord to me,
as once you broke the loaves beside the sea.
Beyond the sacred page I seek you, Lord; my spirit waits for you, O living Word.
It is amazing how lyrics can capture so much with so few words. Those who gathered by the sea had waited for Jesus to heal and teach them. Yet they came unprepared and were hungry. Their hunger was both physical and spiritual. Jesus described the people as sheep without a shepherd.
1. As you think about this story of feeding of the 5000, where do you find yourself?
2. When have you felt like a sheep without a shepherd?
3. Do you still need a shepherd? When?
The hymn “Break Now the Bread of Life” describes the inner search for peace and the affirmation of Jesus as the bread of life. The search can end. In Jesus, the searching soul finds peace.
Bless your own truth, dear Lord, to me, to me.
as when you blest the bread by Galilee.
Then shall all bondage cease, all fetters fall;
and I shall find my peace, my All in All! (Verse 2)
You are the bread of life, dear Lord, to me,
your holy Word the truth that rescues me.
Give me to eat and live with you above;
teach me to love your truth, for you are love. (Verse 3)
Jesus not only fed the 5000, he provided leftovers. The powers of Jesus are staggering and generous. As we experience God’s grace and generosity, hopefully we are stirred to generous living. We who have been richly blessed have much to share with others.
4. How have you been blessed during the past week?
5. How have you extended God’s gracious spirit to others?
6. How have you received the peace of Christ?
7. What difference has that peace made in your life?
Gracious and generous God, stir me to gracious and generous living. May my life reflect your love. Amen
Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17
be generous in word and deed
to each person you meet.
Blessings on your week. I hope to see you in church.