Home Service 24

Home Service for Sunday 6 June 2021 ~ The Bread of Life
Wherever, whenever we may be pausing to worship, some words from the Epistle to the Hebrews point us in the right direction.
In this modern translation known as ‘The Message’, the writer says So, my dear Christian friends… take a good hard look at Jesus. He’s the centrepiece of everything we believe, faithful in everything God gave him to do.
Moses was also faithful, but Jesus gets far more honour.
A builder is more valuable than a building any day.
Every house has a builder, but the Builder behind them all is God.
Moses did a good job in God’s house, but it was all servant work,
getting things ready for what was to come.
Christ, as Son, is in charge of the house.
This song also places Jesus at the centre of our attention.
Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw6rIwmkV6E
Jesus, be the centre
Be my source, be my light. Jesus
Jesus, be the centre
Be my hope, be my song. Jesus
Be the fire in my heart
Be the wind in these sails
Be the reason that I live, Jesus, Jesus
Jesus, be my vision
Be my path, be my guide. Jesus

Prayer of thanks
Let’s pause to ‘count blessings’ and give thanks.
Thank you, Father for
the wonders of your creation,
the gifts You have given us,
the grace you have shown to us,
the sacrifice of Jesus for us,
the sure hope we have in Him.
Thank you for… Amen
The story of Jesus is summarised in the verses of this song.
It reminds again of who He is and what He has done for us.
Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YksTeR61O1I
From the squalor of a borrowed stable,
By the spirit and a virgin’s faith;
To the anguish and the shame of scandal
Came the Saviour of the human race!
But the skies were filled, with the praise of heav’n,
Shepherds listen as the angels tell
Of the Gift of God, come down to man
At the dawning of Immanuel
King of heaven now the Friend of sinners,
Humble servant in the Father’s hands,
Filled with power and the Holy Spirit,
Filled with mercy for the broken man
Yes he walked my road, and He felt my pain,
Joys and sorrows that I know so well;
Yet His righteous steps, give me hope again –
I will follow my Immanuel!
Through the kisses of a friend’s betrayal,
He was lifted on a cruel cross;
He was punished for a world’s transgressions,
He was suffering to save the lost
He fights for breath, He fights for me
Loosing sinners from the claims of hell;
And with a shout, our souls are free –
Death defeated by Immanuel!
Now He’s standing in the place of honour,
Crowned with glory on the highest throne,
Interceding for His own beloved
Till His Father calls us to bring them home!
Then the skies will part, as the trumpet sounds
Hope of heaven or the fear of hell;
But the Bride will run, to her Lover’s arms,
Giving glory to Immanuel!
Jesus’ love is not offered to a privileged few, but to all.
The good news of Jesus is not for us to keep to ourselves, but to share.
One way we do that is through prayer. As we pray for others to be
blessed, so we can also discover how we should use the life and gifts we
have been given.
Prayers of intercession
O Lord hear my prayer as I remember before you now those closest to me; my friends and companions;
those who care and provide for me. O Lord, for your people I pray. my church family the local Christian community
Your church worldwide. O Lord for the world I pray. for relief of troubles and suffering for peace where there is strife.
for healing where there is sickness for hope where there is despair
Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven
Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours. Now and for ever. Amen.

Whatever the trials of present times, there are glorious things yet to be. The writer of this next song gives a wonderful description of what God intends for all who will come.
Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBSYV5Z8cI4
There’s a place where the streets shine
With the glory of the Lamb
There’s a way we can go there
We can live there, be on time
Because of You, because of You
Because of Your love, because of Your blood
No more pain no more sadness
No more suffering, no more tears
No more sin, no more sickness
No injustice, no more death
Because of You, because of You
Because of Your love, because of Your blood
All, our sins are washed away and we can live forever
Now we have this hope because of You
Oh, we’ll see You face to face
And we’ll dance together in the city of our God
Because of You
There is joy everlasting
There is gladness, there is peace
There is wine ever flowing
There’s a wedding, there’s a feast
Because of You…

One of the best-known incidents in Jesus’ time of ministry is known as ‘the feeding of the five thousand’. Here is one of the accounts of what happened.

Reading: Mark 6:30-44
The apostles returned and met with Jesus and told him all they had done and taught. There were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his disciples didn’t even have time to eat. So he said to them, “Let us go off by ourselves to some place where we will be alone and you can rest a while.” So they started out in a boat by themselves to a lonely place.
Many people, however, saw them leave and knew at once who they were; so they went from all the towns and ran ahead by land and arrived at the place ahead of Jesus and his disciples. When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw this large crowd, and his heart was filled with pity for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began to teach them many things.
When it was getting late, his disciples came to him and said, “It is already very late, and this is a lonely place. Send the people away, and let them go to the nearby farms and villages in order to buy themselves something to eat.”
“You yourselves give them something to eat,” Jesus answered. They asked, “Do you want us to go and spend two hundred silver coins on bread in order to feed them?” So Jesus asked them, “How much bread do you have? Go and see.” When they found out, they told him, “Five loaves and also two fish.” Jesus then told his disciples to make all the people divide into groups and sit down on the green grass. So the people sat down in rows, in groups of a hundred and groups of fifty. Then Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish, looked up to heaven, and gave thanks to God. He broke the loaves and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. Everyone ate and had enough. Then the disciples took up twelve baskets full of what was left of the bread and the fish. The number of men who were fed was five thousand.

Reflection
This miracle is the only one to be found in all four of the Gospels. Interesting! We might have expected a healing or even more, a raising from death to have the same coverage, but it was this remarkable event that all the writers thought worthy of inclusion. Jesus did so many amazing things they just could not include and do justice to them all.
The accounts of the event vary a little, but all agree how many men were fed. It is a sign of those times perhaps that women and children don’t seem to have been counted. I think we can be sure they were not left hungry, and that the miracle was the feeding of many more than 5000. In John’s account, he mentions two disciples by name and the parts
they played on the day. In response to Jesus telling them to feed the crowd, Philip asked how they were to do that, and he estimated how much money would be needed. Andrew was named as the one who found the lad with his packed lunch. Their roles are mentioned in a little rhyme composed by Sister Dorothea, who was a nun in an Anglican convent. She wrote- “Philip looked down and did sums in his head. Andrew looked round and found five loaves of bread.
Jesus looked up and five thousand were fed.” Philip’s thinking was worthy and had its place, but his gaze was inwards.
Andrew’s gaze extended further, and his actions were helpful. Jesus’ view was altogether different and the ‘impossible’ happened. The direction of our gaze matters. Bread features many times and in different contexts in the Jesus story.
Sometimes we refer to feeding on the ‘bread’ of His word. Jesus spoke of Himself as ‘the Bread of Life.’

This last song, written many years ago with old style vocabulary, nevertheless offers a prayer we might make our own.
There was never any bread like this Bread and there’s a wonderful banquet still to come.

Song

Break Thou the bread of life,
dear Lord, to me,
As Thou didst break the bread beside the sea;
Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord;
My spirit longs for Thee, O Living Word.
Thou art the Bread of life, O Lord, to me,
Thy holy Word the truth that saveth me;
Give me to eat and live with Thee above;
Teach me to love thy truth for Thou art love.
O send Thy spirit Lord, now unto me
That He may touch my eyes and make me see.
Show me the truth concealed within Thy word
And in Thy book revealed I see Thee Lord
Bless Thou the Bread of Life, to me, to me,
As Thou didst bless the loaves by Galilee;
Then shall all bondage cease, all fetters fall,
And I shall find my peace, my all in all.

Blessing
The love of the Lord Jesus
draw you to himself;
the power of the Lord Jesus
strengthen you in his service;
the joy of the Lord Jesus fill your hearts;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always. Amen