Accepting God's Gift

Romans 6: 19-end and Mark 8: 1-10a

Preached at our midweek service.  We serve food after this service.

For a year now we have served food after this service.  I remember the early days when I would bring soup I bought at Waitrose and Judith made the sandwiches.  People used to ask what they owed for the food.

Now we have an informal rota.  The offers to pay have died away.  We understand that the food is a gift.  We offer it to each other as hospitality.  We have learned to give and also, and this is a bit harder, we have learned to accept.

Our collect today begins by calling God, ‘Lord of all power and might, who art the author and giver of all good things.’  Paul writes to the Romans, ‘the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.’  Jesus said, speaking about the crowd, ‘I have compassion on the multitude because they have nothing to eat.’  He wants to give them what they need.

The story of the feeding of the four thousand is a re-enactment of the Old Testament account of the people of God being led by him through the wilderness.  The disciples ask Jesus, ‘From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?’

But Jesus is man and God.  He can satisfy the people, just as God provided manna from heaven for the people in the wilderness.

He takes seven loaves.  One for each day of the week.  Here is our daily bread.  And there are seven baskets of food left over.  Every day there is more than enough for the people.

Of course, bread is for us the body of Christ, his body freely given to the world.  The world did not deserve it.  The world had not paid for it.  The world received the body of Christ on the cross, freely given, unaware even of what was happening.

The one thing that has changed is that through the witness of Paul and others, we now know something of what happened on the cross.  We now have a dim awareness of what we have been given.  The gift of forgiveness of sins.  The gift of eternal life.  The gift of daily nourishment.  Let us accept the gift.  It is given for us.  And let us live our lives, freed from sin, trusting in the generosity of God.

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Page last updated: 18th Jul 2018 8:37 AM