Worship Calendar for August 2020
Don’t forget to catch our 10am Sunday Service on the Holy Evangelist, Shipton Facebook Page.
We can confirm that from Sunday 2nd August, a service of Morning Prayer will be held every Sunday at 11:00am in St. Giles’ Church, Skelton.
In order to ensure the social distancing is correctly observed, with we be using a booking system,
so we can stay within the safe limits of the building’s maximum occupancy.
Everyone will be asked to supply their name and telephone number upon arrival.
If you wish to attend, please phone me on 01904 471351 beforehand.
Please note: That the 10am Sunday service on the Holy Evangelist Shipton Facebook Page will continue as usual.
FEEDING OF THE 5000
Proper 13- Isaiah 55:1-5, Romans 9: 1-5, Matthew 14: 13-21.
The three readings today give us some understanding as to what it entails to follow God.
In the first reading, Jacob had to fight hard for some time, before he prevails and realized what God wanted him to do.
This show us that it sometimes takes time and energy to fully understand the blessings we receive for God.
As my father always quoted to me “ if a job is worth doing, do it properly so you get a good result”. Jacob did prevail and was renamed Israel. Paul in Romans follows on with this theme of Israel by confirming for the Christians of his time, that Jesus had come from the people of God, the Israelites and he was the Massiah in flesh as the patriarchs prophesied. (Rm9:4-5)
Mattew’s story of the feeding of the five thousand shows us an example of the power and authority of Jesus,
Matthew also included Jesus human reaction to hearing about John the Baptist death, maybe a reminder to Jesus of what will happen to him later, but Jesus doesn’t turn away, he goes alone to be with God in prayer.
A reminder to us that when things become difficult, we should turn to God in prayer.
The miraculous feeding must be one that was told just about everywhere in the earliest days of the Church
as it was recorded in all four gospels.
It is miraculous, as Jesus succeeded in sitting 5000 men plus their families in groups, they were from all walks of life, all different beliefs and races and they shared the broken bread and fishes.
Jesus breaks the bread and gives thanks, is a foreshadowing of what was to come about;the eucharistic meal and the thanksgiving for the body and blood of Christ, which we celebrate today.
Jesus relates the bread as the Bread of Life to his own flesh and blood, so the connection with the Eucharist is impossible to ignore. The Passover, when Jesus broke himself on the cross, to feed the world. In John’s
account Jesus says “ I am the bread of Life”.
I think if I went into York and said that I wanted 5000 people to come for a meal of five loaves and two fishes, people would laugh, I don't think 5000 would even turn up.
The thing to do with miracle stories in the Bible is to stand well back from them and to try to discern what is
the theological message behind the miracle. Jesus didn’t do cheap tricks. Absolutely the reverse.
We don’t need to get hung up on the possibility ,impossibility of what we read in the Bible. What we need to
do is to see the miracles as a teaching aid to enable us to get hold of the message in the bigger picture. In that respect, the feeding of the five thousand is loaded down with meaning.
God had show His power of feeding large numbers of people before, and the Jews would have remembered these, Exodus 16 Moses and the Israelites in the wilderness, God gave them manna from heaven.
Then there are more comparisons. Like Moses, Jesus had crossed the water as Matthew tells us: "He withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by Himself". [Matt 14:9].
Like Moses, Jesus seated the people by companies and fed them, with twelve baskets of food left over , representing the twelve tribes of Israel.
I wonder if we had been there, if we could believe what had happened, would we doubt Jesus or ignore what had happened?
Would we go out into the outlying towns and tell people about what had happened? Would we accept a miracle today and tell others about it?
We all have a part to play. It is not enough just to accept without question without consideration. But neither must we go the other way and close ourselves off from the perception of the divine when God does act in our life.
All too many of us seek in all things a “rational” – explanation for the inexplicable, to argue God out of our daily life altogether. If Jesus could do no miracles because minds were closed, our world would be a very different place.
It is a challenge for us to accept this truth and to apply it to the people and to the circumstances that God presents to us in the world and in our life. The crowds who had sick friends or relatives they wanted to be healed kept close to Jesus when he was out and about. We all ought to do the same, because we all need healing and forgiveness. We all need feeding.
What are our reasons for following Jesus? Are we truly open to him? What do we expect of him? What can we offer him? And what do we think he expects from us? These are important questions for us to reflect on. There is no danger of Jesus disappointing us.
Let us pray for the strength and determination so we do not disappoint him.