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Who Are you feeding...Are you being fed?

Last Sunday's Sermon

The Readings:

2 Samuel 11:1-15

In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel with him; they ravaged the Ammonites, and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.
It happened, late one afternoon, when David rose from his couch and was walking about on the roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful. David sent someone to inquire about the woman. It was reported, "This is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite." So David sent messengers to get her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she was purifying herself after her period.) Then she returned to her house. The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, "I am pregnant."
So David sent word to Joab, "Send me Uriah the Hittite." And Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab and the people fared, and how the war was going. Then David said to Uriah, "Go down to your house, and wash your feet." Uriah went out of the king's house, and there followed him a present from the king. But Uriah slept at the entrance of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. When they told David, "Uriah did not go down to his house," David said to Uriah, "You have just come from a journey. Why did you not go down to your house?" Uriah said to David, "The ark and Israel and Judah remain in booths; and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field; shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do such a thing." Then David said to Uriah, "Remain here today also, and tomorrow I will send you back." So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day. On the next day, David invited him to eat and drink in his presence and made him drunk; and in the evening he went out to lie on his couch with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.
In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. In the letter he wrote, "Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, so that he may be struck

John 6:1-21

Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?" He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, "Six months' wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little." One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?" Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, "Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost." So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, "This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world."
When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified. But he said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid." Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land toward which they were going.

The Sermon

Are you being fed....who are you feeding?

I really want to spend most of my time on the Gospel reading from John but I first want to talk a little about the reading from 2nd Samuel. This passage from Samuel reads like a soap opera. King David sees Bathsheba bathing and lusts after her. When he finds out she is married to one of his soldiers he sends for her anyway and he beds her. She becomes pregnant and now David starts to worry. He decides to have Uriah come back from battle and have relations with Bathsheba so that Uriah will think he got her pregnant. It doesn't work out and David goes to plan B. He arranges to have Uriah killed in battle. He then marries Bathsheeba. What a tangled web of deceit. While at first look this does not seem to be a story you would want to put into a religious writing but the reality is that this is a story of the Jewish people. And, like us today, they on occasion made decisions that could be considered evil. They were very human and their only recourse after making these bad decisions was to ask God's forgiveness. The only wisdom I can give you is don't be like David. Do not let your desires get the best of you.

On to the feeding of the five thousand. This reading “feeding the five thousand” is found in all four gospels. The story of Jesus walking on water is found in Matthew and Mark. Matthew alone contains the story of Peter getting out of the boat and walking briefly as well.

I usually spend a day or two digesting the readings before I decide what direction I am going to take. This week was no different. I decided to go with being fed. As you all know I work at the food bank on Fridays. We have people come to us who often are in desperate situations. Some do not literally know where there next meal is coming from. We load them up with food, send them on their way and we invite them to come back in two months. That is a long wait for that next bag of groceries and I would personally like to see that rule changed. To be physically fed is of primary importance because in order for the spirit to be fed the stomach needs to stop rumbling.

Jesus fed the people so they would be ready to hear his spiritual message. The same is true for us at St. Andrew's except we do most of our eating after the service. I wonder how it would work if we had coffee hour before the service rather than after.

How does being spiritually fed work for all of you?? I wonder if it is the same as it is for me. Sure, I pray. I say prayers when I get up. I pray when I go to bed. I spend a lot of time at the church so I drop in at the chapel and have my own quiet time with God. But, you know the times that I feel spiritually fed the most are when I am doing God's work. When I visit someone in the hospital. When I council someone at the food bank. Those are the times when I feel enriched.

But let me ask all of you. How are you spiritually feeding yourselves and others?

I had a friend in Wyoming who stopped coming to the Sunday service. Sherry told me that his wife said he said he had stopped coming because he felt he was not being spiritually fed. My comment was that sometimes the reverse is true. Maybe he was not spiritually feeding others.

It reminds me of the saying in the Prayer of St. Francis, 'it is in giving that we receive'. It is when I am spiritually feeding that I am spiritually fed.


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