Hello everyone! The service this morning seemed to go well and I found the newly refurbished church much brighter and more welcoming. It was much better to have the closeness of the congregation instead of them being spread round the large area of the church, as they used to be. They have sold their hall and caretaker’s house to finance the refurbishment. The hall is now at the back of the church with kitchen facilities which is much better than the old hall used to be; it makes for a more intimate fellowship over coffee as well as in the church. I had felt nervous about leading worship as I have often found that church forbidding, but to my surprise I felt more at home there. The atmosphere was more welcoming and they responded to my children’s address even though there were no children there. The theme of the service was the feeding of the 5000 and how God supplies our needs. When Jesus heard about John’s death he needed time to be alone to grieve and regain strength from his Father, but Galilee was a very busy place, so he got into a boat and went to the other side of the lake. He also realised that he too could face death now that John had been killed, and would feel afraid and seek retreat. However when he arrived at the other side the crowd were waiting for him and he had compassion on them healing them and ministering to them. As it was getting later the disciples suggested that Jesus tell the people to go and buy food in the villages, but much to their surprise he asked them to provide the food. The disciples felt their meagre supply of 5 loaves and 2 fishes would not meet so great a need but they had forgotten that nothing is too small in Jesus’ hands. He just asked them to bring them to him. He looked up to heaven, thanked God for his provision and broke the bread and gave it to his disciples to distribute. Not only were they all satisfied but there were 12 baskets of leftovers at the end! Even though there were no children present because of school holidays, I still did the children’s address and broke bread and handed it to those at the front to distribute; I nearly forgot the choir to whom I handed the bread individually. I wanted to show how important each of us are in the task of serving others, and sharing Jesus love and acceptance with them.
How this passage spoke to me was that we often feel inadequate as we step out to share Jesus love and acceptance with a needy world, but all we have to do is offer what we have and in Jesus’ power it will be expanded to meet the needs we find. Remember Jesus could not have given out all the food to so great a crowd if his disciples had not distributed it. Jesus has no hands but our hands to hold out in welcome to all; Jesus came to bring all the poor, outcast and sinners healing and restoration. May we too bring all we have to offer to Jesus so he can take it and enable us to love and serve others, not in our strength, but in his strength and with his wisdom. This is the day that the Lord has made and I rejoice and am glad in it.