Notes Sunday 2nd August 2020
Song Holy, Holy, Holy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwuDSw-
Bible reading Matthew 14:13-
Prayer O God, help us to listen to your Word with understanding, to receive it with faith and to obey it with courage, for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.
13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food."
16 Jesus replied, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat."
17 "We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered.
18 "Bring them here to me," he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
The story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 is very well known so we might ask ourselves what else could I learn from it today? That’s a really good question. Below are some of the observations I’ve made. I hope as you take some time to prayerfully consider them, God will speak and reveal new things to new and the church.
Big opportunities arise out of big problems! In verses 13-
There was a crowd of hungry people in a remote place. There is a relationship between the size of an opportunity and the size of the problem. When there is a large obstacle before us, it is probably a sign a large opportunity is coming our way.
Ask God to help you see the problems in your life as opportunities to grow in faith.
Opportunites are seized by those who recognise them, not by those in the right place. In verse 15 ‘As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food."
The disciples were in the right place for a miracle but they did not recognise it. John Otberg (Christian writer) said ‘Life is not a dress rehearsal; seize the opportunity now.’ In verse 16 ‘Jesus replied, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.’ We don’t get to come back tomorrow and do it again, seize your God given opportunities.
Ask God to help you know how to ‘seize this moment.’
Opportunities can be lost when our ways are different than God’s. In verse 17 ‘We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish’ they answered. The disciples were focused on what they didn’t have whereas Jesus was focused on what was available and what God could do with it.
Ask God to give you His perspective with the problems in your life.
We are not called to do God’s work on our own. For God blesses all the church does to bring Him glory and to love and care for our neighbours. In verses 18,19 "bring them here to me," he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.
Great blessings come when we include God in all we do in church. Asking for his blessing changes what we do into the work of God. The disciples had found some resources and now there was an opportunity for something amazing to happen!
Ask God to bless what you bring (your words, actions and resources) to Him.
We learn from the scriptures and from this story that faithful obedience produces God’s blessing. We follow a God who has no limits. In verses 20,21 ‘they all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Great opportunities come to those who are obedient to the Lord’s leading. The disciples had found some resources and when the loaves and fish were given to Jesus he blessed them. The Lord was able to do what the disciples couldn’t.
Where have you seen God generously providing in your life?
Blessed are you, O Lord, and blessed are those who observe and keep your law: Help us to seek you with our whole heart, to delight in your commandments and to walk in the glorious liberty given us by your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Pray for leaders
Father, we seek Your wisdom daily. Be with people making decisions that affect the lives and futures of our families, communities, countries, and the wider world. We pray that they communicate clearly, truthfully, and calmly with each other and with the public and that their messages are received and heeded. May truth and empathy be the touchstones of people setting policies for our protection. Amen
Pray for business owners and families
Jesus, we thank You for Your faithfulness in how you have guided and equipped people in their jobs and have provided in the past. It can be scary and overwhelming not knowing how bills and obligations will be met or to not be able to provide for families. As people feel financial strain during the uncertainty, bring them comfort and peace, reminding them that You are there for them. Provide for them in their times of need. Amen
Prayer for the bereaved
For all those who woke this morning to the loneliness of bereavement -
an unaccustomed quietness, a life now incomplete -
Creator God, maker of the world, you have blessed us with all we need, but we are selfish and take too much for ourselves. Bless the work and ministry of our parish church as it aims to be alongside all in need. Give help and peace to those young people, and their families who are facing poverty, who are lost in a cycle of debt, and who despair about the future. Give hope to those who are facing financial crises, provide for those who have nothing, and give wisdom to those who are supporting them. May we all learn generosity and selflessness, and may we all experience your love through this difficult time. Creator God, we bring you our prayer. Amen.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses. As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen.
To God, who by the power at work within us, is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations for ever and ever. Amen.
Song Great is thy faithfulness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErwiBz1QA4o&list=RDErwiBz1QA4o&start_radio=1&t=18&t=0