Food and Life – Part 1 (Sermons on John 6)

Sermon notes for the eleventh Sunday after Trinity
Yr B 2018

John 6:1-21

Food and Life

Part 1

Sermon notes

House prices continue to say in Dunedin . . . a good sign? A healthy Economy?

Economy – a word the meaning of which has so changed that we might ask if it has completely reversed.

The health of the economy . . .

The Economic Trinity?? GDP?? No

Economy – Oikos-nomos – the law of the household – how we live together
(Econ Trin – the inner life of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit)

Rising house prices a sign that how we live together is improving ???

We’ll return to this idea again and again in the coming weeks as we listen to John 6 – Jesus feeds the 5000 and what this means

What is it to live together??

Scripture is like a bicycle wheel – all the spokes necessary for it to hold together – all pointing towards the hub – God – manifested in Jesus Christ, the Anointed One . . .

So this event, this feeding has so very very many echoes in Scripture, for here we are so close to the hub of it all

Jesus comes up on the mountain – God’s people come to the mount of the LORD – as they had come before at Sinai

So the people of God met with the LORD in Sinai – following the first passover – and there’s an incident which man of us may not be aware of – Gen 24 ‘Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, and they saw the God of Israel. Under his feet there was something like a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. God did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; also they beheld God, and they ate and drank.

they ate and drank with God on the mountain . . .

But the OT is but a shadow of the new – for at Sinai it was just the elders – 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 towards him – not just the leaders, not just the elite – now the people are coming up the mountain

This is the Salvation of God! being enacted – Salvation – Life!
And at the heart of that Salvation – at the heart of Life is food

Another word distorted – Company.
Economy – about how we live together becomes about Work and money, so to Company

What is Company??? Latin- Com Panis – Together with Bread

When you share bread together – when we sit together at table – we share Life . . .

Note last week – I spoke of how we oriented ourselves to the Sun, to Life
It is the Same with Food – it give us Life and it points us to Life
Something happens when we face the Light of Life
Something happens when we share food

One of the prime house price drivers in Western countries is simply this – more and more people live alone . . . our relationship with food is distorted in so many ways, but perhaps no more than the fact that we eat for fuel, often alone – when Food is for our shared existence – for it is Life Shared!!

Food is Life Shared

Most especially when it is the life of another . . . So the lamb of God comes up on the mountain

And we are back in other scriptures as Abraham had come up onto the mountain of Moriah

Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt-offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place ‘The Lord will provide’; as it is said to this day, ‘On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.’

Behold the Lamb of God – upon the mountain . . .

Jesus takes the bread – blesses and breaks it, and it never runs out. Indeed it overflows! We come to this table – we sit and eat with God – and the overflow, the twelve baskets full, enough for each of the disciples, flows on out into the world

All things come from God – he invites us to His table to share in life with him – this is God’s Economy – Keeping Company with God

Ad Orientem – Trinity +8 YrB 2018

Sermon notes – Sunday July 22nd, 2018
8 after Trinity – Year B

Making the two one – One Body – One Direction

Return after trip to UK – doubly jet lagged!

Where am I? What time is it? Profoundly Dislocated and Disoriented

Out of touch with existence – those things which properly locate us in the world – Tim and Space

End of June this year – Fb posts celebrating Anniversaries – a place in time. Profoundly ordinary, except, they were from folk celebrating the 20th anniversary of their ordination . . . And this I found troubling -indeed I always have.

England – two colleagues celebration services for 40 years of ordained ministry – whilst a curate – the Revd John Vipond – 70 years!

But no one celebrating the years since their baptism . . . That which Unites all Christians – their baptism. gives us a Place – in One Body. The celebration of that which divides??

Church docs – you’d think they had this right – but no. GSTHW16 clergy care – “being under Holy Orders in an ecclesiastical office is a claim by God on the whole of the life of ordained persons. Ordination changes the relationship between the ordained person, God and the rest of the body of Christ. Through ordination they enter a place of responsibility within the Church that is accountable to God.”
This had me screaming, NO!! Baptism does this!! Not ordination

Oh for the day when the church makes as much fuss over a baptism as it does over an ordination . . .

We believe in the priesthood of all believers – this goes back to Exodus – first the people are declared to be ‘a kingdom of priests’, Then you have the specific priestly order within Israel, the Aaronic priesthood – which reveals the character of the whole people. But we have at once elevated the ministry of the ordained Over the whole body – and minimised baptism . . . to the cost of us all

St Paul – For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. – Jew and Gentile – Jews Clean – Gentiles unclean. Two classes – out of them he makes a Holy Temple, his One body.

The separation of lay and ordained is contrary to God’s work in Christ

anniversaries, Time


The difference has been exacerbated in our lifetime by liturgical changes, in the shape of the Eucharist

Before going to the UK we were exploring this true nature of Space and the flow of Gods Grace, from Goe, through the people of God who look to him for Life itself – and then out into the world. This was modelled at the Eucharist. The liturgical shape embodied the spiritual reality – everyone face East. East towards the Sun, that which in the Creation speaks to us of the eternal.

At baptism, you faced west to renounce the devil and all his works, and then you faced East towards the rising Sun, to be oriented to God, that God might have a total claim on your life
At the Eucharist we have the great thanksgiving – offered to ??? God! By??? the whole people of God!! We are to be directed all of us to God – but back in the last century, the clergy started to face the people – put another way, the Church in the West turned in on itself. We faced one another, and it is perhaps no surprise that the rapid decline in the life of the church dates from around the same time . . .

Rather we should all face the same way – towards that Life that is the bread from heaven, with which the LORD feeds his people.

Time and space are Created Realities, they are given us to embody the KoG amongst ourselves in our worship. They Matter, because they are part of the Creation which St Paul says “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made.” So supremely the invisible Logos, the Word of God, takes on flesh, the unseen becomes seen, the eternal shares in our temporality – and thus all creation is revealed as a manifestation of His glory

Last time, I recounted how we were a people Eternally oriented – towards the Father in our life together – and so oriented as eternal within time, so also in space – we turn together to God in worship

The Flow of Grace – touching the eternal

Sermon notes
Sunday – Five after Trinity – YrB 2018

Psalm 8
2 Cor 8:7-15
Mark 5:21-43

The Flow of Grace – touching the Eternal

Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17

Metaphysics – and ontology
The Science of Faith

Our Father – Orients us

Psalm 8 – places us

Such thinking was very common but is something we have lost – to our detriment

All good and perfect gifts come from the father of lights

Jesus is perfectly oriented to the Father – this is what it means when we say ‘Christ Jesus is the Image of the invisible God – the firstborn over all creation’

So Life Flows through Him
the kingdom comes from heaven to earth Through him

I only do what I see the Father doing

How interesting that it is this poor woman from whom her life has quite literally been flowing these 12 years who has faith in Jesus. She recognises the flow of Grace, of Life. She doesn’t just have ‘some medical condition’ – literally her Life is flowing out of her body

And Jesus is immediately ‘knew in himself that power had gone out from him’ – The flow of Life, of Grace, of Goodness – New Creation – Literally the Kingdom of God comes Through Him. Through His body!

The Human placed betwixt heaven and Earth – the conduit of the Life of God – the Life that is Eternal

Jesus is always giving his life away to those who look to the heavens – The Cross is the fullest expression of the Image of God – pouring out His Life for the sake of the world.

This is why we are called to repentance – to orient ourselves towards The Heavenly One
To be conduits of Eternal Life

The Giving of Which Paul speaks is utterly natural to those who know the truth of the Kingdom – the Grace of God which is to flow through us. We do not carefully calculate – we give to all who ask of us. This Life is the eternal life – it is the daily manna from heaven – it is the Life of Christ In Us

this is why we pray our Father, and often.