On this Sunday, Reformation celebrates the 40th ordination anniversary of our Pastor Emeritus, The Rev. John Ranney. You will hear some reference to this in Pastor Eric’s sermon on John 6:24-35, where we explore the question, “how do we align our lives with the purposes of God?” The message includes what it looks like to live our our faith in our daily routines, Jesus as the bread of life, saying no to “empty spiritual calories,” and, of course, plate tectonics. Because why shouldn’t science help us understand faith?
A large crowd of people is following Jesus, and there is no food for them to eat. Jesus poses a tough question to his disciples, “where will we find bread for these people to eat?” For the disciples, the situation seems impossible. But Jesus knows what he is going to do. In this sermon on the feeding of the 5,000 from John 6:1-21, Pastor Paige asks listeners to consider what they are hungry for, and how Jesus can surprise us with his power to create an abundance when all we see is scarcity.
Our Gospel reading (Mark 6:14-29) sounds more like something out of “Game of Thrones” than the Bible. Our reading from Ephesians 1:3-14 sounds like a bunch of theological abstractions, but it contains one obscure word that the earliest Christians saw as a key to understanding what it means that God saves us in Jesus. In order to tie these things together into an invitation into a life of deeper significance and power, we’ll start with a retelling of an old Twilight Zone episode…
In two connected stories from Mark 6:1-13, we learn how Jesus sent out the disciples out two by two to teach and heal. His instructions to the apostles were simple: take nothing with you but rely on the generosity and hospitality of those you meet. Pastor Paige explores how we easily get distracted from our ministry of sharing the good news of Jesus with others, and she encourages hearers to realize that God has already given us everything we need to be effective apostles in our time.