This coming Sunday marks an interlude in the long series of passages from Mark during the Pentecost season. The Gospels for three Sundays are taken in course from John 6 - The Bread of Life chapter. Jesus explains that the people have come for more physical bread, but He would rather they had spiritual food which comes from heaven, food for the soul. He then identifies Himself as the bread from heaven similar to the manna God sent to His people in the wilderness. The Old Testament. Paul speaks repeatedly of growth into the fullness of Christ’s stature and growth as “bodily growth”. As everyone knows, physical growth is not possible without adequate food. The Psalm of the Day sings of God’s goodness and greatness in satisfying the physical needs of every person. Jesus our Savior fills our deepest needs.
Collect for Proper 13 – Merciful Father, You gave Your Son Jesus as the heavenly bread of life. Grant us faith to feast on Him in Your Word and Sacraments that we may be nourished unto life everlasting;; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
Monday, 27 July 2015—Psalm 78:23-25, Antiphon, Psalm 78:72 – With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with His skillful hand. Israel under the care of the Lord’s royal shepherd from the house of David was for the prophets the hope of God’s people (see Ezekiel 34:23; 37:23 Micah 5:4) fulfilled in Jesus Christ. (See Matthew 2:6’ John 10:11; Revelation 7:17)
Tuesday, 28 July 2015—Psalm145:10-21; key verse v15—The eyes of all look to You and You give them their food at the proper time. This is a psalm of praise and fitting for our theme for this week. The Lord is the provider of all both physical and spiritual blessings. He supplies physical food for us daily as we acknowledge in the Lord’s Prayer. He also supplies us spiritually as He comes to us through the means of grace.
Wednesday, 29 July 2015— Exodus 16:2-15— In response to the people’s complaint that they had no food, the Lord sends food from heaven. Only a few weeks after deliverance from Egypt the people complain about the lack of food. They murmur against Moses and Aaron, but God knows that hey complain about Him. They doubt whether the Lord cares about them and His ability to provide for them. In response to their complaints the Lord sends quail in the evening and bread, “manna,” in the morning. To this day the Manna is a mystery – “What is it?” Moses answered, “it is the bread the Lord has given you to eat.” By this the people are to know that He is their God.
Thursday, 30 July 2015—Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16 — Bread makes for bodily growth. Christians are to live lives worthy of their calling in love, unity, and growth to maturity in Christ. The church is urged to become what they are by the grace of Christ. Paul appeals for unity on the basis of the unity of Spirit and body. Various functions are gifts of Christ to equip the members and to build up the church in love. The goal of the growth is the matching of the stature of Jesus so that we are not children but mature in faith and love.
Friday, 31 July 2015—John 6:22-35 — Bread satisfies hunger. John urges the people to seek bread from heaven and reveals Himself as the Bread of Life. What is the work of God? Jesus replies that the work of God is to believe in Him. The people ask for a sign that would persuade them to believe in Him and refer to the manna received in the wilderness.
Jesus assures them that God sent the bread from heaven, the bread that gives life to the world. Then they ask Him to give this king of bread. He reveals that He is the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to Him and believes in Him will never hunger nor thirst.
In John 6:1-15 is recorded the feeding of the 5,000. (A prelude to the next three Sundays of readings) Some believe that the crowd could have been over 5,000 as only "men" were counted. If you would count "women and children" it could have been up to 15,000 (See Matthew 14:21). Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana seats close to 17,000 people....
According to the concessions manager the following items were sold at the Indiana v Wisconsin game, on Saturday, March 12, 1994...
400 1bs of hot dogs,
3,000 popcorn boxes,
8,200 cokes (about 1,000 gallons)
684 candy bars,
284 boxes of caramel corn,
917 soft pretzels,
247 polish sausages,
179 bags of peanuts,
160 cups of coffee.
This game was played on an afternoon, with tip-off scheduled for 2:00 pm. Most fans had eaten their breakfast and had probably had their lunch also! And fans had to pay for their food!
Jesus feeds the crowd freely, without cost! When we pray "give us this day our daily bread" we can know that the Savior will supply us with all that we need to support our body and life.
In the center of Pentecost we will be reading the Bread of Life chapter of John 6. Following are the Gospel readings for the next three Sundays.
August 2, 2015 – Pentecost 11 – [Proper 14] John 6:22-35
Eat More then Bread - The Necessity of spiritual bread for life.
August 9, 2015 – Pentecost 12 – [Proper 15] John 6:35-51
Eat and Live – Spiritual food gives eternal life
August 16, 2015 – Pentecost 13 – [Proper 16] John 6:51-69
To Eat or Not to Eat – The decision whether or not to follow Christ
Saturday, 01 August 2015—John 6:22-58 - Sunday’s hymn of the day, Father, we Thank Thee (LSB 652) is a liturgical hymn based on John 6. The point of Jesus’ teaching and the text of the hymn is that to live spiritually we need the bread which comes from heaven namely our Lord and Savior Jesus. As Christ is received we as the children of God live new lives. Throughout the next several weeks we will be focusing on Jesus’ teaching on this import chapter from the gospel of John.
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 and Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House and from Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House.
Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcut used with permission from WELS
Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B – John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH