04 April 2014

Homily from this Morning's Chapel on John 6:1–15

Jesus tosses Philip a hot potato, a problem that he cannot solve. “Where can get bread for these to eat?” Philip is one of you numbers people. He sizes up the crowd and figures out that having 200 days wages would not be enough for each one to get a bite. His attention is captivated by the huge size of the need. Andrew is a tad more practical, I suppose. He checks out the resources at hand: five loaves, two fish. He comes to Jesus shaking his head: “What are they among so many?”

Dismay and despair over the huge need and the meager resources and so the disciples fail the text. For they don’t look up from either to the face of Jesus. “Give them to me,” he says and then He offers His thanks and praise to the Father who loves His children and provides them with all they will ever need. Then Jesus takes those meagre resources and sends the disciples forth: “Go give it away.”

Can you see Peter… then the look of surprise… no matter how much he gave away, the chunk in his hand didn't diminish. From shock to the joy of giving it away to the hungry crowd!

Now ask yourself IF they had used their noggins and kept the food, how much would they have had at the end of the day? Their measly five loaves and two fish? Probably not even that, because they'd have eaten it! But because they did what Jesus told them to do: give it all away. What did they come away with at the end of the day? 12 baskets full of left overs.

No, makes no sense at all. But this is God’s arithmetic. And it is the arithmetic of Jesus’ own life. We fear if we give our lives away, we won’t have anything left for ourselves. But Jesus, who can take the bread and bless it and give it away and come up with more than you could ever dream, this is the Jesus who does the same with HIS LIFE. He spends His life in love for others, for you and for me. He pours Himself out till He’s all spent and theres nothing left but a corpse to put in a tomb. And yet raised from the dead on the third day, He shows how His Father vindicates such a life. Love is as strong as death, says Solomon in his Song. Jesus shows: No, love is stronger than death.

Don’t be afraid, people loved by God, to spend and be spent in loving service to others. You don’t come up the loser. You can’t. Jesus invites you to look away from the vast need, to look away from your meagre resources, to look to Him and to dare with Him to venture all on God’s amazing economy where love triumphs. Amen.


Let us pray for the whole Church of God in Christ Jesus and for all people according to their needs, saying: “Let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.”

For the grace of trusting in God to provide for every circumstance of our lives, let us pray to the Lord: Lord have mercy.

For deliverance from all fear that we might walk with Christ the path of loving service and mercy, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For those who cry out for Christ’s healing upon their lives, and especially for all we have been asked to remember: for Timothy and his family, for Maggie and her family, for Deborah, Felicia, Marcia, Baby Thomas, Cindy, Brian, Cindy, Mike, Charlotte, Karen and Ed, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For the ministry and work of LCEF and for God’s richest blessing upon their service to His people, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For all the students of the Concordia University system and especially for those gathered here that they may be filled with the Spirit’s wisdom and serve His purposes in this generation, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

Finally for all our needs of body and soul, let us pray to the Lord in the words our Savior taught us: “Our Father…”

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