8 after Trinity

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Readings

Isaiah 55.1-5
Romans 9.1 – 5
Matthew 14.13 - 21

Sermon

Jack was six years old. For the whole of his life Jack, like his Mum and his Dad, had been a passionate supporter of his local football team. And when he was six, Jack went, with his Mum and his Dad, to Wembley, to watch his team play, and win the FA cup. It was the greatest day of Jack’s life. It was the greatest day ever …

For six-year-old Jack, as for many of the fans there, it was undoubtedly the greatest day ever. The question is, did he live the rest of his life basking in the reflected glory of that moment – “I was there….”. Or did young Jack allow that precious moment to spur him on to become a great footballer himself?

We cannot know. Jack and his football team are fictitious; but the story is true enough. The story is replayed over and over again in so many peoples’ lives, perhaps – even probably – in our lives too, if we’re honest. Being there was enough, but not enough to change us.

And I suspect that it was also true for many of the 5000 men, not to mention the women and children, whom Jesus fed that day with five loaves and two fishes. “I was there,” they might recall years later, “I was one of the ones he fed.” And for them that’s all it was, a great moment, a great story. But not a life-changing one.

How can I say this? Paul’s letter to the Romans echoes the same sentiment. “Look, you children of Israel,” he writes (I paraphrase), “look how much God has done for you. God calls you his children. God made his covenants with you. God gave you the law. God gave you the temple to meet with him. God gave you Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to be your founding fathers. God gave you the Saviour of the World. Do you really understand what that means? Does it really matter to you? Evidently not.”

It’s easy when we’re thinking about other people, isn’t it? And so we have to turn to our own lives, we who call ourselves by Christ’s name, who have been offered a place in the inheritance alongside Israel.

Questions for Reflection

1. Where have you – where do you – encounter God? Of all God’s blessings, which ones touch you most? To which can you say “I was there”, or “Me too”?

2. How have you responded to those encounters? Have you let them change you, or have you resisted?

3. Can you resolve to try again, to do better next time? What would it take? And dare you ask God to give you another chance?


Page last updated: 28th July 2020 8:48 AM
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