Sixth Sunday after Trinity – Sermon 203

8th January 2016 Off By Derek Buckthorpe

Holy Communion 10.00am

31st July 2011

Sixth Sunday after Trinity

Bible References :

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Prayer to start


May the words of my lips and the thoughts of our hearts be graciously received for the Glory and honour of our Lord Jesus Christ





Persuading someone to eat the right kind of food can be a very difficult and frustrating experience


Ask any parent or grandparent – trying to give their  children a good breakfast in the morning – or a healthy lunch –


They pick at it – or at best only accept a few mouth fulls before their lips become firmly shut – and they refuse to eat any more –


sometimes you wonder if they are just living on fresh air with the small amount of food they eat –



But hand over a bar of chocolate or a bag of sweets

–  and its a completely different story – there’s no stopping them –


and its not  just true for children – but all of us –


Sometimes we just don’t know what is good for us


Point 1


As the prophet Isaiah knew only too well – we are hopelessly addicted to instant satisfaction – rather than what we really need to meet our innermost needs –


In our OT lesson – we hear God’s call to come and receive the food and drink that really does satisfy –


By feeding on Him through coming to faith –  we can begin something that not even death can destroy –


By drinking the water that He provides –  He will not only quench the thirst of the present – but become a constant source of refreshment throughout the whole of our lives –


God – will nourish us with His word – Feed us with His Spirit – fill us with His love  –


He calls us all to His presence – saints and sinners

to empty ourselves – so that God can fill us – and  open our eyes a fresh – to His greatness – and sovereignty –


We have a God who is beyond expression – and  who delights to hear our prayers – wants to be our intimate friend – involved in every aspect of our lives- and is waiting for us to approach Him with our hopes and fears –


We might fill our stomachs to overflowing  – but if we don’t feed our souls – we will all – slowly starve to death –


So how do we get people to eat what God has to offer?


Point 2


In our Gospel reading –  we have Matthew’s account of the Feeding of the 5000


This is the only one of Jesus’ miracles that is recorded in all four Gospels.


In Matthew’s version – Jesus had just heard of the death of John the Baptist – and had retired to a quiet place – to be alone- only to be followed by a large crowd


He had just lost John – but there around Him –  were all these people waiting to hear what He had to say


They must be fed – but because of the remoteness of the place – the people will have to be given physical food as well


and knowing that John’s death at the hands of Herod was a foreshadowing of His own – Jesus also steps  up His training of His disciples-


One of them suggests –  to send them away – so they can go and buy food for themselves


which of course – was not an option –  as far as Jesus was concerned


He won’t send anyone away – that comes looking for Him –


‘You give them something to eat’ – He says


‘But we’ve only got 5 loaves and 2 fishes’ –  came back the reply


And with that suggestion  – Jesus calls the  crowd to sit down – and He takes the offering – which is hardly enough for two people – and prays over it –

gives thanks to God – breaks it and gives it back to the disciples – to give to the crowd –


And all ate and were filled – with 12 baskets full remaining


The disciples had been called to exercise faith –  faith in Him – faith in what they have learned –


and that faith requires that we  take risks – based on the character and power of Jesus –


The offer of 5 loaves and two fish –  was a risk – an idea from one of His disciples  – to use this food in some way –


and Jesus did just that – He used it to transform the whole situation – enabling His hearers to be fed physically sand spiritually


As the disciples learned – when Jesus is involved – all that we have – is all that we need –


So if we want to convince others about the Joys of knowing Jesus – and how he can change lives


we too must exercise our faith – in Jesus – we too must take risks  – put forward our ideas – our suggestions to Him – in prayer  – however imperfect we think they are –


it may be some gift we have –  a skill – our time –  our energy – our love – an artistic flair – whatever we have to offer –


Jesus will then hold it before the Father –  with prayer and blessing – He will break it –  so that it is ready for use – and then give it back to us  – to give to those who need it –


There are many examples of this working in our Church today –


Jesus will accept whatever we offer and use it for the  Glory of His Kingdom –


And like the 5  loaves and 2 fish  – our offerings will be transformed by Him – to be over a 1000 times more effective


Point 3


Getting close to Jesus – and trusting in His presence and power  – is key to everything we do as Christians –


We need a love and commitment to Jesus and to others  that reflects Jesus’ own love and commitment to us


Jesus gave up everything for us – He sacrificed Himself  – for our salvation –

Cut Himself off for our sakes –


As Paul reminds us  –  we are His people – and we must care and have the heart to love the lost – and spread the truth –






As His disciples we know what Jesus is capable of


He will take our little and turn it into more than enough


So- are we ready to trust Him – let Him use what we have – to help us and others find the food that brings eternal life –


You give them something to eat’ –  says Jesus


So – We know what we have to do –


And Jesus has shown us how

So now its our turn, Let us pray


Loving Lord, we haven’t much to give

and what we do have –  we only give you a fraction.

Teach us not to look at the feebleness of our resources – or the scale of our human need – but to recognise your sovereign power –

and so in faith – offer what we have – to you in the name of Jesus Christ – to the glory of your name –                              AMEN


Video of Sermon 203 on You Tube