‘I am the living bread that came down from heaven,’ says the Lord. ‘Whoever eats of this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.’ John 6:51
you have placed within the hearts of all your
children a longing for your word and a hunger
for your truth;
grant that, believing in the one whom you have sent,
and the food of eternal life,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit
be glory and honour for ever and ever.
- 2 Samuel 11:1-15
- Psalm 14
- Ephesians 3:14-21
- John 6:1-21
- 2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a
- Psalm 51:1-12
- Ephesians 4:1-16
- John 6:24-35
A Thought to Ponder
Pentecost 9 – John 6:1-21
“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?”
Today the lectionary interrupts the semi-continuous readings from Mark’s Gospel for a five-week reading of Chapter 6 from the Gospel of John – the “bread of life” discourse of Jesus.
The miracle of the feeding of the multitude with a few loaves and fish is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospels. This story was cherished by the first Christians for whom the Eucharist was becoming the centre of their life together. Jesus’ actions are indeed “Eucharistic”: bread (and fish) is given, Jesus gives thanks (the word used in the Greek text of Mark’s Gospel is eucharisteo), breaks the bread and the community feasts.
The multiplication of the loaves and fish did not start with nothing; Jesus was able to feed the crowds because a little boy was willing to share all he had; from his gift, small though it was, Jesus worked a miracle – and a new community of faith was formed as a result.
We are called by Christ to become the Eucharist we receive at this altar: giving thanks for what we have received by sharing those gifts – our talents, our riches, ourselves – to work our own miracles of creating communities of joyful faith.
The scene on the grassy plain mirrors the gathering at this table today. In the miracle of the loaves and fish, Jesus transforms a crowd of all ages, talents, abilities and backgrounds into a community of generosity. That vision of being a Eucharistic community is re-created each time we gather here.
Eucharist is possible only when self defers to community, only when serving others is exalted over being served, only when differences dissolve and the common and shared are honoured above all else.
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Sorry we had a technical glitch when recording the sermon, so it is not available this week.
You can read the Pew Sheet here5ab5c-pentecost-9-b