Potsdam United Methodist Church
Where we let Jesus shine! Where we invite, love and nurture ALL!
Sunday Worship
11:00am Service
Pastor Heidi R. Chamberlain
Information info@potsdamumc.org

Hi! This Is JC

July 29th:

Call:           Psalm 14        (746)
Text:           John 6: 1-21

                                Hi! This Is JC

[Read the John Scripture]

The feeding of the Multitude
The story of the loaves and the fishes

We can call it whatever we want, but under any name
        This is one of the best known of the NT stories

It ought to be,
After all,      there are                six accounts of it     in the four gospels
        Each gospel has at least one
        Two gospels - Matthew and Mark - have two accounts

Scholars are divided on whether there are actually two events
Whether the M&M gospels tell of the same event twice
        Even though they are really one happening
                Taken from two sources
        And     presented as two different stories,
in two different settings       in two different ways

Personally,             I don't care.
For whatever the case, the feeding of the multitude
        Is an impressive story
        And,    as already noted,       a well known story.
There is probably no one here who is not familiar with it [except Parker]

We think of it as a miracle story
        And a miracle it must have been

But for those of us who know that Christ has worked in our own lives
        We don't need stories of miracles or signs
        To convince us that Jesus is Lord.
No, we have our own stories.

We have the scriptures
        Not to prove that God exists or that God is powerful.
We have them
So that we can seek insights into God and our relationship with God
        So that we can learn what God expects and requires of us
and     So that we can find out
how we can be better disciples and representatives of Christ.

Therefore, the miracle aspect of the story
while awesome to and necessary for those who were there -
is not what inspires me,

The miracle aspect is not
what teaches me the lessons that I need to learn.
The miracle aspect is not
what I spend my time thinking about.
Two other aspects of the story do excite and inspire me,
        They are what teach me the lessons that I seek to learn.
They are what I spend my time thinking about.

We talked about one of the two last week
A worn out and hurting Jesus feeding the crowd
        Even though he badly needed some alone time.

I told you then that that aspect inspired me
        Inspired me, in fact, to such an extent
That I focused too much on Christ's example of self sacrifice
                Thereby, failing to temper it with the remainder of the lessons
The lesson that even Jesus needed a rest
And     the lesson that his disciples needed one too.

The second aspect that always moves me
is found only in one of the six versions
                it is found in John's presentation of the story.

This second inspiring aspect is the role that Andrew plays in the story.
        That's what I want us to look at today.

Andrew is kind of a forgotten disciple

He and his brother Peter were called from their boat to be fishers of men
        [How many times have we heard that story?]
In that same story
Another pair of brothers, James and John, were called as well.

Four fishermen were called from their boats.
Four fishermen dropped their nets and followed Jesus.

        When Jesus went to Jairus' home to heal Jairus' daughter,
whom did he take into the house with him?
Peter, James, and John

        When Jesus was transfigured
whom did he take up the mountain with him?
                Peter, James, and John

        When Jesus prayed in Gethsemane after the last supper,
whom did he take into the garden with him?
                Peter, James, and John

He didn't take Andrew.

In each of these events
        Jesus took only three of the four Galilean fishermen with him
In each of these events
        It was Andrew who was left behind.

Peter, James and John
        They were Jesus' highest level assistants,
They were Jesus' closest companions,
They were chosen to be special witnesses to amazing events.

But it is Andrew who is my favorite disciple

For Andrew had a less dramatic role
        a role no less important
        a role, however, to which you and I should be able to relate
        [And no, Tim, his role was not
                To go to Scotland to invent golf and build pot bunkers.]

Andrew's role was to introduce people to Christ.

The first chapter of John
        tells us that it was Andrew who took Peter to meet Christ.
                Not the reverse
And     that it was Andrew who told Peter
"We have found the Messiah."

And now, five chapters later in that same gospel
        We again find Andrew introducing someone to Jesus

This time it is a nameless boy with five barley loaves and two fish
        And because Andrew brought the boy to Jesus
        The hungry crowd got fed.

This aspect of the story shouts out to me    much louder than the miracle.

Oh, I can accept the idea of miracles
        And have no doubt as to Christ being able to perform them
But I have the experience of Christ acting in my life

And what I need is the reminder and the example of Andrew
        As to how to be a true disciple of Jesus the Christ.

One of the clearest messages that Christ taught is
        That we who have met him need to introduce him to others
And     That if we do so, he will do great things.

That's why he gave us the Great Commission
        To be witnesses and to make disciples for him.

That's why he gave us the Great Commandment
        To love God and to love our neighbors as our selves.

Introducing Christ to others is something that you and I can do
        And Christ gave us Andrew as an example and reminder of that.

If you and I want Christ's church to be
        An effective instrument of His love and caring
We have to do it.

If you and I want this congregation of Christ's church to be
        An effective instrument of His love and caring
We have to do it.

If we want to call ourselves Christians
If we want our little lights to shine
If we want      to pass on              that light of love and caring
        We have to do it.

To do it,       we don't have to be miracle workers.
To do it        we don't have to stand on a soap box
                        And preach or testify at the corner of Main and Market

All we have to do is let our lives reflect that love and that caring
        Because no words that you and I can say
        Can speak louder than the way that those of us who call ourselves Christians act toward others.

And we can do that in many ways.

We can do that by giving of ourselves to help others
        Giving time, money, energy, and love.

We can do it by the way we treat others
        With fairness, with justice, with honesty, and with kindness

We can do it by the way that we express our gratitude to God
        In worship, prayers, and actions

We can do it by inviting others to worship, to Bible Study,
        Or to sing in the choir

We can do it by choosing to worship
instead of doing things that others are doing on Sunday morning
thereby saying "So important is Jesus Christ
        that I give priority to Him

We can also do it by making people feel welcome when they come here
And making them feel welcome when they come back.
        Thus showing that they are important to us and to God

This is not an all inclusive list

But all of these ways say to others
        "Hi!  This is my friend Jesus the Christ
                I'd like you to meet him
                He will do wonders with what you bring to him
                        Even if what you bring
                        Is as humble as five loaves of bread and two fish."

It is a good idea for us to work hard
to avoid thinking of Andrew
        As a forgettable disciple
And to remember him instead     as an example for us.

For Reference: the other five feeding the multitude stories are:

Feeding 5,000:  Matthew 14: 13-21;  Mark 6: 30-44;  Luke 9: 10-7
Feeding 4,000 :  Matthew 15: 32-39;  Mark 8: 1-10