Church Catering – feeding of the 5000
What is the Kingdom of God – how do we live as Kingdom builders?
Compassion Generosity Abundance Thankful
Circumstances. All preaching should start with the circumstances, the real-life complexified contexts of the hearers. In this text, the crowd is comprised of people with food insecurity and no health care. They are hungry and worn by the day’s event. It’s time for them to eat, but there are so many of them that they would have to go into “the villages” (note the plural). They might not have the stamina to get to the villages or the money to buy food. Jesus turns to the disciples and gives them the gospel impulse and directive: “You [the disciples themselves] give them something to eat.”
Accessing of Assets. In difficult circumstances, it can be easy to concentrate on our liabilities, deficiencies, and inadequacies: we do not have any; we do not have enough. Preaching ought to be about building capacity given the realities of our current assets. “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.”
Direct action. People who hear preaching ought to be charged with doing something. Jesus takes the assets. He mobilizes and organizes the people to sit in manageable companies, and he simply blesses and breaks the fish and loaves.
New Beginnings. This is a new beginning for the disciples. They go from asking “What we do not have?” to being the ones to carry the abundance to the needs of the assembled people. They are charged with the distribution of food to everyone present. It is also a new beginning for the people. The people who arrived sick, tired, and hungry are filled—all of them, men, women, and children. And it is a new beginning for the community of disciples and the crowd together. They have a new challenge to think about: What do we do with what is now left over?
* Wanting a little quiet to mourn John the Baptist’s death, he is confronted by a large crowd who want his attention. What was he thinking and feeling as he responded to their needs instead of his own?
* Some see this as a turning point. Jesus has been letting the disciples witness him in action. Learning of John’s murder makes him realize more fully what is ahead for him and leads him to begin preparing his disciples for leadership. How does that influence his relationships with his disciples?
- Herod: out of seeming abundance there was death and scarcity
- Jesus: out of seeming scarcity there is abundance
– The disciples
* How did they feel when Jesus told them to feed the crowd?
* What did they think when they realized that there was going to be enough?
* What do you think they did with the leftover food?
* How did this event change them?
– The crowd
* How did it feel to be offered free food with no questions asked in a remote place in a time when food was not abundant?
* In that day who you ate with was important. Jesus often got in trouble over the people with whom he ate. How did it feel to sit down with huge numbers of strangers to share food?
People were so moved by the act of generosity, that they took what they had naturally brought with them and shared. In the end, the outpouring of sharing of the community produced an abundance.
The Lord’s Prayer – give us today our daily bread.
God chooses to work with and through us
“You give them something to eat”
Uses the resources we have- ABUNDANCE
not what we don’t have – SCARCITY
Only 5 loaves and 2 fish – SCARCITY
Leftovers – ABUNDANCE
Send them away – SCARCITY
Remaining as a community follow Jesus – ABUNDANCE