Today is the final day of an incredible week of Vacation Bible School at St. Andrew's. (A huge word of thanks to our Director of Christian Education, Janice Stickley, as well as to teachers, helpers, guides. leaders of snacks,songs, games, and crafts, and everyone who worked so hard behind the scenes to make this such a joyous week)
One of the stories that we experienced earlier in the week was the feeding of the 5000 where the disciples seem to have a problem. Jesus had promised them retreat and time away doesn't usually involve thousands of other people coming along but that's what happened! Jesus doesn't seem angry or disappointed but rather sees it as a teaching opportunity. However, at the end of the day the disciples have a lot of hungry people on their hands. They also have a solution. "Send them home." But Jesus also has a solution. "Give them food." The disciples point out that all they have is five loaves of bread and two fish. Not going to work, Jesus.
It's easy to point out the disciples lack of faith in Jesus. However, Jesus doesn't scold them but simply points them back to the resources they have. It seems that, in the face of the improbable and seemingly impossible, the disciples not only need more faith in Jesus but more faith in themselves, in what God can do in, with, and through them if they offer who they are and what they have to God. And so it is with us.
It is one thing to pray that God would enter into the troubled relationships of friends and family members and bring peace. But it's another thing to ask God to enter into the relationship through us to bring peace. Faith in God often includes a willingness to be an instrument through which God does some of his best work. May God use us as instruments of grace, healing, and wholeness for a hungry and hurting world.
Each Sunday we gather to be given strength to serve as instruments of God's grace in the week ahead. This Sunday at 9:30, as we gather around Word and Sacrament, we will be praying for servants from St. Andrew's headed to South Dakota to listen, learn, worship, serve, and grow in grace. We will also be blessed this week by members of St. Andrew's Brass, who add so much to our worship. Finally, if you are home over July 4th weekend, we hope that you will join us in worship as we enjoy songs of God and country and give thanks for the blessings of our lives and our nation. See you in church!