Saturday, August 1, 2020

August 2, 2020

At Home Worship
First Presbyterian Churches of
Deport, Texas

GREETINGS

OPENING SENTENCES     

The Lord gives food in due season;                      Ps. 145:15-16
God satisfies the desire of every living thing.

Trusting in the word of life given in baptism, we are gathered in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Amen
                                            
CALL TO WORSHIP (responsive)

Come into the presence of God to be fed.
Come to call on God, who is eager to answer.
We gather to seek God’s face.
Let our eyes see all that is right and true.
Incline your ears to hear all God would teach.
Seek to experience God’s steadfast love.
We are here to receive God’s blessings.
God is our refuge in a frightening world.
God is near to all who call and seek.
Come to praise God and receive a blessing.
Open our senses to pay close attention, O God.
We want to renew our covenant with the living God.

PRAYER OF THE DAY (in unison)
We are in awe before you, O God, for you have provided for us in rich abundance. The earth is full of your provisions. There is beauty all around us from the work of your hands. You have surrounded us with people who care about us with the love of Christ. Help us, O God, to count our blessings. Point us beyond our cries and complaints that we might realize our capacity to act in your name for the sake of others. As we wrestle with issues of faith and trust, help us to risk our false security for the venture of feeding others in the spirit of Christ.    Amen.


CALL TO CONFESSION

All of us need times of wrestling with God over issues in our own lives. These moments of confusion offer us one such opportunity. Bring your own distress to this time of confessing the sin in which all of us have a part.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION   (in unison):

God of justice and righteousness, whose compassion for humankind was expressed so vividly in Jesus of Nazareth, we bring to you our sorrow and anguish that we have not followed faithfully in the footsteps of Christ. Unkindness and deceit are all around us, and we have sometimes joined in their destructive ways. We waste resources you have entrusted to us. We cause others to stumble and fall. Take away our wickedness, O God, and restore your covenant among us, we pray in Jesus name.    Amen

Silence Prayer and Confession

ASSURANCE OF GOD’S PARDON

God is merciful, patient, kind, and loving. All creation is subject to God’s care and concern. God attends to our cries and frees our lips from deceit. In Christ, our brokenness finds healing, and relationships are mended and strengthened. God feeds us in ways beyond our knowing and prompts our generosity. Know the glory of God surrounding us here as we worship. Celebrate the refreshment God offers.


*GLORY BE TO THE FATHER    
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;                                                                            
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without
end.  Amen. Amen.




PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION (In Unison)

God, whose law is perfect and shoes covenant with us is sure, teach us today as Jesus taught the crowds long ago. May we hear the voice of compassion and sense the healing touch which we need as much as they did. Multiply among us the food of your Word, that as we are fed, we may be eager to pass on your gifts to us with a transforming generosity of spirit, in Jesus’ name.         Amen


LISTEN FOR THE WORD OF GOD      

OLD TESTAMENT READING:      Genesis 32:22-31

The same night he got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.
He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had.
Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.
When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him.
Then he said, "Let me go, for the day is breaking." But Jacob said, "I will not let you go, unless you bless me."
So he said to him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Jacob."
Then the man said, "You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed."
Then Jacob asked him, "Please tell me your name." But he said, "Why is it that you ask my name?" And there he blessed him.
So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved."
he sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.

THIS IS THE WORD OF THE LORD.   THANKS BE TO GOD


THE PSALMIST                   Psalm 17:1-7, 15

Hear a just cause, O LORD; attend to my cry; give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit.
From you let my vindication come; let your eyes see the right.
If you try my heart, if you visit me by night, if you test me, you will find no wickedness in me; my mouth does not transgress.
As for what others do, by the word of your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent.
My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me, hear my words.
Wondrously show your steadfast love, O savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand.
As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake I shall be satisfied, beholding your likeness.


                                                                                 Isaiah 55:1-5
Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.
See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples.
See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you, because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.




THE EPISTLE READING                                         Romans 9:1-5


I am speaking the truth in Christ--I am not lying; my conscience confirms it by the Holy Spirit--
I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.
For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people, my kindred according to the flesh.
They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises;
to them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

THIS IS THE WORD OF THE LORD.   THANKS BE TO GOD


THE GOSPEL READING              Matthew 14:13-21

Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns.
When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick.
When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves."
Jesus said to them, "They need not go away; you give them something to eat."
They replied, "We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish."
And he said, "Bring them here to me."
Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full.
And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
THIS IS THE WORD OF THE LORD.   THANKS BE TO GOD

SERMON                         Jane Els CIM: 


Here is the text of the sermon, beginning with the scripture reading:

Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns.  When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick.  When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”  Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.”  They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.”  Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.  And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full.  And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.


This ends the reading of the gospel.  Thanks be to you, O Christ.  Let us pray.
Lord, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your sight today.  May it awake our souls and scratch at out feet and our hands so that we will itch to move and follow your lead. Amen

Today, we have one of the great stories of Jesus.  It’s easy to see when we hear the story:  Jesus has tried to rest but, by now, he is so popular that crowds follow him.  And the crowds are growing.  Five thousand people!  And this doesn’t even count the women and children.  It you count them it could easily number over 20,000 hungry people. 

 Jesus made all the preparations for the meal as though there was plenty of food.  He took the inadequate five loaves and two fish and then He Looked Up and Blessed the food.  And started passing out food.  And the Holy Spirit showed up and showed out.  There was not only enough food but there was food left over.

One Sunday I was scheduled to give the Childrens Sermon on the Feeding of the 5,000. I decided it would make a great sermon illustration if I could take actual bread and fish for the kids to eat.  I figured they would never forget the story if they got to actually eat the bread and fish. I thought some on it and knew I could find small loaves of bread easily enough but the fish would be hard.  Most kids nowadays –OK, ALL kids today – are not familiar with eating fish in a natural state the way they ate fish in bible times.  They didn’t exactly have fried fish sticks back in Jesus’ day.  Finally, I came up with sardines.  I remembered my father eating sardines on crackers out of a tin for lunch sometimes with a little lemon squirted on the top.  Sometimes I would join him.  It had been a long time ago but it was something I had eaten in my lifetime and it hadn’t killed me so I figured it wouldn’t kill these kids.  That’s what I could use for the fish in my illustration.
So I told them the story of Jesus feeding 5,000 people.  Then I opened up my little wicker basket and got out my own loaf of bread and five sardines....and put it on a plate to pass around the kids.  The kids looked at the sardines in horror.  The first kid took one tiny bite and made a face.  The second kid poked at the fish and passed the plate.  From that kid all around the circle nobody touched the fish.  They were willing to eat the bread but there was no way they were going to touch that sardine with a ten foot pole.
Without realizing I was sitting in front of the whole congregation with a microphone I whispered to myself, “So, that’s how he did it!”  I had come up with one of the greatest Theological Revelations of my life.  Right there in front of God and Everybody.
What if....What if Jesus didn’t multiply the bread and fish........and I’m not saying Jesus didn’t multiply all that food because Jesus could do anything He wanted because he was the Son of God and he could have rained donkeys if he wanted to............but WHAT IF instead of multiplying the food Jesus just took away their hunger?
We know that it is not the case in this story because the story claims that the food returned was actually more than the original supply.  So I don’t want to change the story today.  Jesus did multiply the bread. 
But there’s more to this story than it might appear on the surface.  Look at it again.  The story starts with the phrase, “Now when Jesus heard this….”  So I went to the scripture immediately before and what did I find?  The “this” that Jesus had just heard was the news that John the Baptist had been killed.  And not just killed; no!  Murdered.  Be-headed in the most brutal was you can imagine.  His head was then presented to Herod’s  wife…on a platter!

What a horrible story!  What a horrible situation!  If you remember, John was Jesus’ second cousin.  John had baptized Jesus!  I can only imagine how this must have affected Jesus.  And the scripture says that “Jesus withdrew” to a quiet place to be by himself. But the crowds followed him wanting to be healed.  The guy never got a break, did he? 
Here he was, in the midst of losing his cousin, his faith mentor, the guy who baptized him, for goodness’ sakes! And he couldn’t get a minutes’ peace. 
But he stepped up and did it.  He healed them.  And then he fed them.  And how do you do something like this when you are at the end of your rope and you have nothing left to give?  When there’s nothing in the basket but just a fraction of what you need to feed a mob?
You rely on the power of God’s Holy Spirit. 
So, at this time, when Jesus and his disciples were caught unaware—the crowd had been unexpected and Jesus was distracted by hiw own grief—at that time—the Holy Spirit stepped in and took over for them and delivered lunch. 
And what a lunch the Spirit provided that day!  From five loaves and two fish came a banquet large enough to feed 5,000 people plus women and children. 
Could that be the headline? Not multiplying bread and fish or taking away the hunger? But giving Jesus the strength to get up from his sadness over John his Cousin and Friend and go back to work.  Again this would take the power of the Holy Spirit.  And haven’t we felt this power at work in our lives?  How many times have you settled in on the couch at the end of the day only to remember some task you absolutely have to do before you can call the day finished?  I’ve always claimed that just as they are about to close the lid on my casket I am positive the buzzer on the drier will go off and I will need to get up out of my casket and go hang up the clothes because I know they will wrinkle if I don’t.
I’ll bet Jesus understands this feeling.

But I also want to explore another thing Jesus taught us and that is that we can be so happy with very little when we have faith.

What if the answer to all the world’s problems is not increasing our supply but in decreasing our demand? What if it could be as simple as something we were taught in Kindergarten:  how to share with other people?

Recently I saw a graphic with a caption that read The truly “developed” world is not when all the poor people have cars…..it’s when all the rich take public transportation.  That’s how we’ll know when we have it figured out.  That’s how we know we understand the distribution of resources.  It’s not when we multiply resources but when we can manage the resources we have.

There is enough for everyone in the world but it will only happen when the folks who have too much are happy with less

Hold that thought for  minute

Lets go back to Isaiah verse for today.  Isaiah 55:1-5
Let me read it for you.
Ho, everyone who thirsts,
    come to the waters;
and you that have no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
    and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
    and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
    listen, so that you may live.
I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
    my steadfast, sure love for David.
See, I made him a witness to the peoples,
    a leader and commander for the peoples.
See, you shall call nations that you do not know,
    
and nations that do not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel,
    for he has glorified you.

This doesn’t make sense.  “You that have no money, come buy and eat!”
“Come buy wine and milk without money and without price.”
“Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?”

I had never paid attention to this verse until I heard it read in short bible study one January morning in 1999 on my first mission trip to Guatemala with the church.  Our guide for that trip, Rev Robert Moore laid out the verse but kept going back to it throughout the day.  It was a day spent meeting people that I didn’t know at the time would become friends who I still stay in touch with today over 20 years later. 
That day I met Hector Gomez and his wife Sonia. I would have the experience of watching Hector weld the roof frame for a house we built on our first mission trip.  Hector was one of the wealthier men in their town since he had a good trade of welding.  He was one of the most respected men in their church, also:  a youth leader and ruling elder in the church.  He also drove us around in a van over the winding mountain roads.  Two years later I received the news that Hector died of complications from diabetes.  It wasn’t surprising in a country like Guatemala where medicine is expensive and rare; and managing your diet when the traditional diet of rice and beans is not the best for a diabetic. Meat is a rare commodity in that country.  After Hector passed away I got to know his wife Sonia better.  She became more active in the church.  When she became the first woman ordained as a ruling elder in their presbytery everyone said it was in honor of Hector but 10 years later when she became the first woman ordained as a pastor in that same presbytery, not only was it clear that it was on her own merit, I was there to witness it.  Because by this time I had become not just another “mission lady” and not only a Sister in Christ I was also an “amiga.”  And today through facebook I am in touch with Sonia on a daily basis. 
I want you to know about these people because these are real people.  These are people I know and love.  I have been in their homes and their homes are not fancy by our standards:  they don’t have air-conditioning.  The city water is not drinkable and they have to bring in bottled water for drinking.  Their government is corrupt.  The town is so poor sometimes the police don’t have money for bullets for their guns.

I have been able to learn a lot about people who live a life that is very different from my own.  Although we may live differently we share the same Christ.  We have sung the Doxology together in two different languages and it makes a beautiful sound. And I have learned that I can be happy with a lot less material things.

What does all this have to do with Jesus feeding 5,000 people?  Or bread that money can’t buy?   And what did Jesus feed them with if not bread?  What did he fill them with?  I’m going to say it was The Holy Spirit of God.
 There is a song that was popular with the Presbyterian Woman a few years ago that goes:

       Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me
       Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me
       Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me
       Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me.

This is the sustenance that nourishes us beyond all nutrition, beyond caloric value.
It is the bread that money can’t buy. It can only happen when the Holy Spirit steps in and takes over your body, telling your body that there are things beyond physical needs that can override the body’s need.
It takes away your hunger for things of this world
The same sort of thing happens at the communion table.
There are a lot of words at a communion table.  The people who design the liturgy around the Holy Meal have a lot to say and they take it all very seriously.  But there is one moment when something startling happens:  when the person presiding over the table prays to God that Christ might be present

Something happened there on the grass where the 5,000 plus folks sat.  We know that something happened because they weren’t hungry anymore.  Something took away their hunger, whether it was a miracle of food being multiplied so their bellies were filled or maybe it was my sardine trick and their hunger just went away through cosmic magic trick God played.   One thing I know for sure is that the Holy Spirit of God was involved.  Either way, you don’t satisfy that many people without a miracle of God.
God’s spirit is at work today, moving among us, multiplying our faith

The next time you are feeling overwhelmed, latch onto the Holy Spirit, ask it to fill you, feed you, fall fresh on you.  Melt you and mold you, fill you and use you.
Amen.



Here is Armel's sermon on this scripture:



and here is the text of Armel's sermon:

SERMON                              Armel Crocker CIM:

Feed The People
Our Gospel lesson for today reveals Our Lord at a time of physical exhaustion and emotional distress. I would not say that Jesus was depressed or despondent, but a lesser person might have had such a sense of hopelessness.
For you may remember that Jesus had brought his message to his own people, only to receive a stunning rejection in his home town of Nazareth, where the people were so angry with what he said that they threatened to throw him off a steep cliff.
The religious authorities were dismissive of him, criticizing him and his followers for their petty infractions of minor rules governing eating and religious observances.
And now he has just learned that King Herod has executed his cousin, John the Baptist, the one who baptized him and had supported Jesus in so many ways, actually encouraging people to switch their allegiance from him to Jesus.
Now when Jesus heard [about the death of John the Baptist], he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick.
When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Usually, we think about the feeding of the 5,000 as one of Jesus’ great miracles – maybe THE great miracle, if there were a popularity contest. (You’ve got water to wine, walking on water, a healing here and there, and this feeding of the 5,000, right?) So we wonder about how in the world Jesus could take just two fish and five loaves and stretch them to feed that many people. We marvel at all those leftovers – 12 baskets full – and the idea that if there were about 5,000 men – not including women and children – how many people Jesus really must have fed at the end of that day.
I’ve wondered before at the compassion Jesus had to muster for the crowds that afternoon, when all he really wanted was to be alone to grieve after learning that his cousin and friend, John the Baptist, had just died. It’s amazing to think about all of the people he must have healed or taught or sat down to listen to, in the midst of his grief. And I’ve always wondered what it was that he said to himself when he looked up to heaven and blessed and broke that bread, before doing what he did with it.
One of the reasons why this particular story became so important for the Early Christians is that it reminded them of the miraculous meal they celebrated regularly when they gathered for the breaking of the Bread. Could you not hear the Eucharistic implications in Matthew’s account: he took the bread … he blessed … he broke it and gave it to them. Two thousand years later we still gather in Christian community in the same hope of experiencing Jesus Christ in our lives through the breaking of the bread.
So this is the context in which we see Jesus and the disciples suspend their active ministry in order to observe a time of retreat or Sabbath. Matthew indicates that Jesus decided to pull back from the hurly-burly of the campaign trail and spend time in a deserted place where they might rethink strategy and recharge their emotional batteries.
This was a good idea … but it did not work. The crowds pursued him, as if he were a rock star. They traveled long distances from their homes to be near Jesus. Did they come in fear for their futures? Did they come in the hope that he was the Messiah, the long-expected One? We do not know for sure. Matthew tells us that they were determined to see Jesus and did not plan very well, for the day grew short and they were far from their homes with no food to hold them until they returned.

But the disciples were there too. And while it’s easy to wonder about all of the other stuff – to focus on the size of the crowds and the lack of food and the miracle of it all – this time around, I found myself thinking about more about the disciples.
It had been a long day and they were probably tired. “Come on Jesus. Time’s up. Let’s lose this crowd and get something to eat,” they said. “These people are probably hungry and ready to get some food for themselves anyway. Let’s get them out of here so we can do the same.”
But Jesus took a different approach: They need not go away; you give them something to eat. In calling for the disciples to get involved in this crisis of a temporary refugee people, Jesus established the expectation that his followers would use their compassion to make good things happen. This feeding of people in the wilderness was not to be a seen as some kind of razzle-dazzle spectacle to enhance Jesus’ fame and popularity among the people, but an insistence that Jesus’ followers distinguish themselves by their compassion, resourcefulness, and generosity.
The Church treasures this story because it captures the way in which Jesus challenged his disciples to address a problem and not ignore it. Now the disciples were shocked by what Jesus was suggesting, because, like many of us, the disciples approached problems with a theology of scarcity … we do not have enough, we cannot do this, it is out of the question, we should not even try. We have only five loaves of bread here and two fish!

And in the face of their questions… in response to their doubts… in spite of their laziness, whatever it may have been for them, Jesus says, “YOU give them something to eat.”
“What do you mean, ‘feed them’? Maybe you haven’t noticed, Jesus, but there’s like 5,000 of them on this hill and all we brought with us is a couple of stinky fish and a few loaves of bread.”
“YOU give them something to eat.”
See, the miracle’s a good one and it makes a great story, but if we only focus on what Jesus prayed or on trying to figure out how he did what he did, or on the crowds or the fish or the bread – we’re missing the point. Just like last week’s Gospel really wasn’t about yeast or mustard seeds; and just like the week before wasn’t really about weeds, good seeds, or gardening; today isn’t really about fish or bread or a picnic on the hillside. For me, the Gospel – the Good News – in the story of the Feeding of the Five Thousand is found in Jesus’ short and simple response to the disciples.
“YOU give them something to eat.”
Sure the disciples are still skeptical. Yes Jesus does whatever he does to make the food go as far as it did. But, what he says and what the disciples do is even more profound and powerful if you ask me: “YOU give them something to eat.” Don’t send them away. Don’t look for a way out. Don’t hope for someone else to do it. Don’t wait for tomorrow, even. “YOU give them something to eat.”
And don’t we sound and act like the disciples too much of the time? We don’t have enough bread – whether that means time, or money; energy, willingness, or ability; faith, love, compassion, or whatever. We’re skeptical. We’re pessimistic. We’re preoccupied, distracted, lazy, uninspired, selfish, insecure, unconvinced – just like those disciples were that day. A lot of the time, if you’re anything like me, you’re just downright full of excuses.
But just like the disciples in the Gospel, Jesus gives us something greater than even our best excuses. He gives us more than just another miracle, too. He gives us something better even then bread and fish to chew on. Jesus reveals to us just what a high opinion God has – not only of the lost and lonely; the sick and needy people on that hillside that day for whom he shows so much compassion – but Jesus reveals to us what a high opinion God has of those who believe in and who want to follow him so faithfully.
What I hear Jesus saying is, “Don’t wait for someone else to do it.” “Don’t pretend you don’t have the time or the skills or the resources to do God’s bidding in the world.” “Don’t pretend you’re not qualified or capable.” “Don’t put it off for another day or time or moment when it might be more convenient for you.” “Don’t even wait for me to do it in your place.”
“YOU give them something to eat.”
But Jesus wanted his disciples to think not in terms of what they did not have but rather in terms of what God had given them … a theology of plenty. The message in our Gospel lesson is that if we will embrace a challenge, bringing forward what we have, no matter how little, then God will do the rest. Many a Christian congregation has launched a noble endeavor, mounted a ministry of outreach, broken ground for a new building … not because they had the money in the bank but because they had the vision, they sensed the need, and they were willing to trust that God would provide.
We will never know for sure what happened that day when more than 5,000 hungry people were fed. Some believe that Jesus literally broke the bread and fish and they multiplied in a mystical manner so that a large quantity of food was produced. Another theory is that as Jesus and the disciples shared the little they had, it encouraged others in the multitude to share what they had until a loving community was formed where each gave what he could and received what he needed. Isn’t that a miracle!
Isn’t there some way each of us might feed someone, too? Maybe it’s that co-worker you know could use a hand or some encouragement… Maybe it’s a neighbor who’s having a hard time… Maybe it’s something around here. Let’s not wait for someone else to do it. Let’s not pretend we aren’t capable or qualified or called, even, to respond to the needs around us. Is there something we can do about racial injustice in America and the World. And let’s not wait for Jesus to do it all by himself.
No, let’s be amazed by the story. Let’s wonder about the miracle of Jesus. But let’s think about our mission here, too – as a congregation and as individual followers of Christ. Let’s hear Jesus’ command to give the world something to eat. And let’s realize that we have all we need to make that happen – that because of God’s love for us, we are called and capable of doing the work of Christ in and for the sake of the world – and that when we do, there will be more than enough of that love and grace and hope to go around – with leftovers besides.
Amen
                 
APOSTLES’ CREED                 
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy Catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.



PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
Friends in Christ,
God invites us to hold the needs of our sisters and brothersas dear to us as our own needs.Loving our neighbors as ourselves,we offer our thanksgivings and our petitionson behalf of the church and the world. Hear our prayers, God of power,and through the ministry of your Son free us from the grip of the tomb,that we may desire you as the fullness of lifeand proclaim your saving deeds to all the world.
We ask this through Christ our Lord who taught us to pray;

Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name; Thy kingdom come: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever.
Amen.

CHARGE AND BLESSINGS

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,                               2 Cor. 13:13
the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 

Amen.



First Presbyterian Church, Paris, Texas Preaching Schedule
Sun., Aug 09, — Armel Crocker Lay Pastor
Sun., Aug 16, —  Jane Els Lay Pastor
Sun., Aug 23, — Armel Crocker Lay Pastor
Sun., Aug 30 — Jane Els Lay Pastor






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