1 Sunday, July 28, 2012 Pastor Dena Williams Denver, CO 2 Kings 4:42—44 Psalm 145:10—18 John 6:1—21 The

Holy Gospel according to the Community of St. John in the 6th Chapter Glory to you, O Lord Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee to the Eastern shore. 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 already 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 Jesus, “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,

2 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 without him 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 Gospel of the Lord Praise to you, O Christ Will there be enough Love?

3 John, Chapter 6 . . . We’re going to hear a Gospel story from John, Chapter 6, the assigned reading, every Sunday for five Sundays in a row. Now, over the course of these Sundays, beginning today, you will discover, that for these five weeks in a row, the Gospel from John, Chapter 6 will be about . . . bread. That means that for five weeks in a row, the preacher needs to find something meaningful to say about . . . bread. Let me tell you, that preachers dread the bread! It’s no wonder that preachers often schedule their vacations during these five weeks.  So, today’s bread story . . . Jesus finally found a place to rest. He just sat down on the mountain side . . . when the crowd appears. It’s a large crowd . . . and they’re hungry. Jesus has a plan, but he quizzes Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” Philip rolls his eyes and says, “Why, six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” Then Andrew says to Jesus, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” Jesus says, “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. Will there be enough? I spent three weeks in Bolivia this summer.

4 A gracious friend, Pastor Rosemary Sanchez Guzman, and her family welcomed me . . . They welcomed me with bread. Now that’s not hard to do in Bolivia. There must be 100 different kinds of bread available in the markets on any given day! There’s hard bread and soft bread, bread for breaking into a cup of tea, bread for dessert, bread for breakfast filled with vegetables, fruit, and chicken or beef, deep fried bread, empanadas, also filled with delicious tidbits. There’s bread with cheese . . . lots of different kinds of bread with cheese. It’s a little hard to describe, the amazing diversity of breads. Is there enough? Bread? I visited La Paz, the city near Lake Titicaca in the mountains in western Bolivia. Indigenous people make up 60% of Bolivia’s population. They live primarily in and around La Paz. Many are farmers who live and raise families on the thousands of tidy adobe homesteads in the countryside. Many others live in the big, bustling city of La Paz. Many of those who live in the city struggle to feed their families. One particular image is burned in my brain. Along with the tens of thousands of indigenous people in their colorful, distinct clothing, there are also tens of thousands of . . . dogs in La Paz. They’re street dogs. They roam freely through the streets. They actually look reasonably well fed. They play and look for food and sleep in the shade in the afternoons.

5 It’s hard, though, for a North American who owns a couple pampered Golden Retrievers to get used to the idea of thousands of street dogs. It’s hard for a North American who sees sign flyers on street corners to get used to the idea of thousands of street people. One particular image is burned in my brain. We came around a corner and there, in the middle of the city, was an empty lot. In the middle of the lot was a garbage dump. Crowded around the edges of the dump, sifting through the garbage, were probably 20 dogs and . . . 20 women, some with infants on their backs, several with small children beside them. There, literally side by side the dogs and the women searched for food. Even now, I can see the women’s colorful skirts as they bent to look through the garbage, there, right beside the dogs. Will there be enough? Here, and in Bolivia, will there be enough? Yes, there will be enough, but only if Jesus is there, right there beside the dogs and the women. What does this Jesus look like, the one who comes to feed the women, their children, and even the dogs? What does he look like? He looks like us. If we are there, to feed the poor, then Jesus is there,

6 and there will be enough. Hungry people in our country are not usually so visible. They are hidden. Here in Denver, hungry children are hidden in the motels along Colfax Avenue, in homeless shelters down town, in homes across the city where single parents struggle, where moms and dads can’t find work. They are here, hidden, but present. Will there be enough? If Jesus is present there will be enough. All that we do and say, worship, fellowship, Bible Study, everything we do in our church community, we do to prepare ourselves to serve the world. For wherever and whenever we feed the hungry, Jesus is present. Jesus is present and there is enough, enough bread, enough love for all the world. Amen

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