Jesus Is In the Storm

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost | July 25, 2021

2 Samuel 11:1-15 and Psalm 14 • Ephesians 3:14-21 • John 6:1-21

John 6:1-21 | New Living Translation

After this, Jesus crossed over to the far side of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick. Then Jesus climbed a hill and sat down with his disciples around him. (It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration.) Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.

Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!”

Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”

10 “Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. 12 After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.” 13 So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.

14 When the people saw him do this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, “Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!” 15 When Jesus saw that they were ready to force him to be their king, he slipped away into the hills by himself.

16 That evening Jesus’ disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. 17 But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn’t come back, they got into the boat and headed across the lake toward Capernaum. 18 Soon a gale swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough. 19 They had rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, 20 but he called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. I am here!” 21 Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and immediately they arrived at their destination!

Sunday Thoughts

Yep, that’s Pam and me with our feet propped up on the recliners on a Sunday afternoon. We were watching a documentary on the Greek Islands, but are now watching the Olympics. I have seen bits and pieces over the last couple of days.

Speaking of the last few days, we have gotten a temporary break from the hot and humid weather. Over the last few days we have had highs in the 80’s with relatively low dew points. I did get a chance to cut the grass this week. One of the things about the weather we’ve been having is that the rain has seemed to disappear except for an isolated thunderstorm. The grass is starting to look dry and we have been watering the plants in front of the church on a regular basis again.

It’s been an interesting week as we prepared for a busy weekend. On Friday night we had our first “Movie Under the Stars.” We showed the movie “Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie.” It was cool…we had a little snack bar set up. We gave away popcorn and water, but also offered snacks and drinks for purchase. We purchased a popcorn machine and inflatable screen. Both worked like a charm. I used my sound system and the movie looked and sounded great. I am so thankful to all those who showed up from The Journey to man the snack bar. The movie wrapped up just after 10 and then we had to tear down. I didn’t get to bed until midnight and then we had an early morning as we set up at the Millsboro Farmers Market.

We had another good morning at the Farmers Market and continued to make and develop relationships with our community. It was nice because it wasn’t nearly as hot and humid this week. Later in the day, we had praise team practice and you could tell we were all beat. Most of the week was spent in preparation for the last 48 hours.

This morning we woke up a little groggy. Pam and I went over to Wawa and I ordered a double espresso frozen mocha. By 9 I was wide awake and had an abundance of energy. We started the service off with “I Raise a Hallelujah.” There was a good crowd this morning with several new people. So excited about that. There was some good energy and we even did a Vacation Bible School song. I preached the first message in a series on Jonah and challenged our congregation to step out of our comfort zone to reach people who we sometimes think are beyond God’s reach or who we think are beyond all hope.

Now, I am writing this and getting ready to write our monthly prayer newsletter to our prayer partners. Have a great week and Carpe Diem!

Prayer for the Week

Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pour down upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Sunday Night Thoughts

It is Sunday evening, so that means it must be time for Sunday Night Thoughts. This is the longest running and most consistent weekly post in my blog, except maybe for the lectionary devotionals. You may notice that over the last few weeks, I have gone back to a writing post instead of the video posts. It seems like I go back and forth on that. One of the things I want to do is improve my writing, so I decided for the moment to go back to written posts. For most of its existence this post has had a static header. If I’m not mistaken, we had three different headers for the Sunday Night Thoughts post. For the moment, I’ve decided to make it a dynamic header – taken sometime during the Sunday in which it is written. For now I might just stick with taking pictures off the front porch of the parsonage. The sun in this picture is just below the trees behind the church.

  • One word for the weather – hot. We did have some thunderstorms roll through after we went to bed last night and a cold front went through and it did make a difference today. It was not nearly as humid nor as hot today. Despite the fact that it was only about 7 degrees cooler – it was much nicer feeling out there. We have been getting enough rain to keep the grass growing and it is growing like crazy. I need to give it a trim tomorrow.
  • We had a good time at the Farmer’s Market yesterday, despite the heat. I have a feeling that the heat affected the number of people showing up, because the crowd seemed thinner yesterday. By the end of the morning, you could literally feel the air sticking to your skin. Yuck! We put away the stuff and I immediately took a shower.
  • I did get out for a walk several mornings – walking 4 miles each morning. Even before sunrise the temps were over 70 and some days that made for a tough walk.
  • This week we did some preparation for our Movie Under the Stars. We are showing Jonah: a VeggieTales Movie on Friday night. I needed to check out our projectors that the church had to make sure we had everything to make it work. Friday evening, we did a test run in the sanctuary – with the new inflatable screen. It should be great out in the field. We also purchased a popcorn machine and will be giving out free popcorn on Friday night as well as free water. We are doing this to get visibility in our community and share the love of Jesus.
  • I’m also excited about an opportunity we have to serve the middle school which is on the next block. Our church is also collecting school supplies that we will be giving to the school at the beginning of the school year.
  • I was really hoping that we had seen the last of COVID-19, but it appears that it is back on the rebound. I’m really hoping it doesn’t affect future events.
  • I am also looking forward to our Vacation Bible School. We are doing the Go Fish Guys Backstage with the Bible. It is a program we have done before and I believe really ministers to the children.
  • We did have a wonderful service this morning. I could sense the Holy Spirit from the opening moments of the service. I always love when someone asks to be anointed and someone asked again this morning. I could sense God’s power as I preached about ministry service and we finished the service with a video called Undefiled Worship by Elizabeth Rhyno. The video is no longer available on YouTube but it is powerful.

That about wraps it up for this week. Have a great week. Carpe Diem!