Our Minister: Rev. Richard Lowson

 


From the Manse

This Morning would have been Breakfast Church or Brunch Church for some of us so today we are reflecting on Food and a God who longs for all to be fed.

Opening Prayer:

Father God, Holy Three-in-One,

We join with the saints on earth and in heaven as we bring our worship to you.

Come and meet us now by your Holy Spirit, and gather our dispersed voices into one single church of praise. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Music: Great is thy faithfulness

https:// www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0580km3

Readings:

Exodus 16: 1 – 12

John 6: 1 - 14

Richard Reflects ….

Do you know what I’m really missing this morning? The 9 ‘o clock start at St. Andrew’s knowing that as soon as I open the doors I’ll be greeted by the wonderful smell of Breakfast (that has been lovingly prepared by John and Suzanne). My mouth is watering at the prospect of smoked salmon and cream cheese, and the fruit cocktail that looks too good to eat. And then down the road to Bushey and Oxhey for Marian’s perfectly cooked bacon in a croissant washed down with a nice coffee. The first Sunday of the Month is Breakfast Church and Brunch Church. We chatter round our tables, we eat together, create together and worship together. A different way of being church, and we are getting used to doing church differently and being creative and I hope this continues after lockdown. We can’t slip back into church as it was.

I miss the table talk and worship, miss the baking bread at CPSO. Solo breakfast, however nice the menu, is not the same. Jesus loved his shared meals. So many gospel encounters are centred round meals. From country weddings, meals in homes and with people on the edge, interesting dinner parties, Passover meals and simple dinner with close friends. And John in his Gospel punctuates his account with meals from that wedding in Cana where we get a glimpse of who Jesus is to a very charged last Supper, and he ends his gospel with a beachside Bar B Q with Jesus cooking and inviting friends to join “Come, Eat” .Through these meals we’re given an insight into who this Jesus is.

Today it is about a simple picnic, a boy who has five barley loaves, which indicate that he is from a poor background, no smoked salmon for him, but he gives his bread and his 2 fish so others can be fed.

I think back 10 weeks ago when people were stripping supermarket shelves of eggs, tomatoes, pasta and flour. People hoarding food, then throwing that food away when it was past its sell by date. It brought out the worst in some people. Even in those times there were those who thought they had a right to that bit more than everyone else. As long as my cupboard is full who cares? 

I wasn’t too concerned about the toilet rolls, the paracetamol shortage caused me a bit of concern, but for me it was about the plain flour. My small bag of flour was going down and the only thing I could think about was my Yorkshire puddings. Frozen or packet mixed was out of the question.

I stupid I sound, with all that’s going on at the moment and I’m worried about not being able to make Yorkshire Puddings. There are people starving, dying of malnutrition. I do hope that this makes me never take for granted the meals I eat and share.

With my flour I need to remember the farmer that grows the wheat, the miller that grinds the grain, those who package and transport, and finally most important, the shop worker, often poorly paid, who risks their life, to make sure the flour is stacked on the Supermarket shelf.

A little boy showed the way, he gave his small insignificant picnic so others could be fed. He shared the little he had and made a real difference. We’ve seen the smash and grab and hoard but we’ve also seen those, like the boy in John’s gospel, who give so others can be fed. We are seeing acts of generosity, people sharing time and resources to make a difference in these times. People thinking and acting beyond themselves. We offer to God our equivalent of five barley loaves and 2 fishes. Here you are Lord….

I don’t know what Breakfast or Brunch will be for you today but enjoy. Give thanks for a God who feeds us, for that full up feeling, help us to be a people that care and work for a world where all are fed. Amen.

 

Music: Guide me O thou great redeemer

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAN4EojeF0Y

Blessing:

A prayer of blessing based on Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit; and the Blessing of God, the Holy Three-in-One, be with you, and all those whom you love, and all those who love you, today and always. Amen.

 

God Bless - Richard