Call to Worship
L: We welcome you, LORD, God of Life, in our midst. You are Yawhe Jireh, our provider.
P: We praise the LORD, who provides HIS people with Manna from heaven.
L: We praise the LORD who provided us with the Bread of Life.
P: We praise the LORD who nourishes our faith even on this day through the power
of the Holy Spirit.
L: Come, let us worship the LORD!
Bread for the Journey
based on John 6:25-35
by Dr. David Rogne
In a movie based on Ernest Hemmingway's story, "The
Snows of Kilimanjaro" there is a scene in which two men are discussing
with each other the difficulty of finding meaningful goals in life. Both
are big game hunters, which enhances the symbolism that both of them know
what it is to pursue something, yet neither has found what will really
satisfy. One man tells the other of an incident, which provides the theme
of the story. One day while he was high above the snow line of Mt.
Kilimanjaro in Africa, he found the remains of a leopard, apparently
frozen to death in that most unlikely place. The men speculated about what
the leopard was seeking at that high elevation. They conclude that
whatever it was, the leopard was seeking the wrong thing, in the wrong
place, at the wrong time, and it destroyed him. The implication is that
this is the way it is for humans as well: we aspire to something, pursue
something, and if it is the wrong thing, or if it is sought in the wrong
way, it leads to our destruction.
The New Testament deals with that same theme, the human search for
meaning, in equally serious terms. Consider the passage we read this
morning. A large number of people were on their way from Northern
Palestine to Jerusalem to celebrate their most significant religious
festival, the Passover. On the way, many of them had seen or heard about
some of the unusual things Jesus of Nazareth was doing, and they turned
aside to listen to him, and to see if he would perform some miracle in
their presence. They stayed too long out in an uninhabited place, and
Jesus was concerned that they should have something to eat. He took a
small amount of bread and fish, blessed it, distributed it among the
people who were present, and amazingly, there was enough for everyone.
Then Jesus withdrew and made his way back to the other side of the lake,
even though the people were aware that no boat had put in to take him
aboard. When they discovered that Jesus really had left the area, some of
them began to suspect that perhaps he had miraculously crossed the lake
during the night, and they had missed what would have been a fantastic
trick. When morning broke, many of them arranged for boat rides to the
other side where, they suspected, they would find Jesus. When they got to
the other side, to the village of Capernaum, they sought for Jesus and
found him. In this event, we have acted out for us the human search for
meaning, and some lessons from Jesus on how to carry out that search
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