Project Description

17B 2 Kings 4: 42-44 / Ephesians 4:1-6 / John 6:1-6

I just read an interesting story
about the very beginning of
the Cold War.

The story involves a very distinguished
English gentleman named Sir Oliver Franks.

Sir Oliver was a Professor of Philosophy at Oxford. . .
and held many important positions. . .

but his most important assignment came
right after World War II.

It was then that Sir Oliver
was named British Ambassador to the United States.

And as ambassador,
he was in touch,
often on a daily basis,
with the President of the United States
on one side of the Atlantic. . .

and the Prime Minister of Great Britain
on the other side of the Atlantic.

He was the confidant of
some of the most powerful people
in the world.

And often, he needed to get
top-secret messages
to and fro between Washington and London.

It was far too risky for him to
make to telephone calls. . .
the line was surely bugged.

So Sir Oliver used a diplomatic bag
which went back and forth each day. . .
by air. . .
carrying confidential documents across the Atlantic.

That’s the method he used for most
of his confidential messages.

But when something was really confidential. . .
Top. . .top. . .secret. . .
something so important that he
could take no chances
that the enemy spies would get it. . .

he wouldn’t use the diplomatic bag
going back and forth via airplane. . .
everybody knew about the bag!!!

Instead, he would use a method
that no one would ever suspect. . .

Sir Oliver would put the “uber” secret document
in an ordinary envelope. . .

and send it through the regular mail.

No one suspected a thing. . .
no enemy spy ever figured it out.

A plain, ordinary envelope. . .
mailed through the ordinary mail.

Ingenious and unpredictable!!!

When I read this,
It reminded me of our Christian story. . .

a story that we can’t be reminded of enough. . .
and it too is an ingenious and unpredictable story!!!

You and I were created in the image and likeness of God. . .

and then given dominion. . .
given the responsibility
to run God’s beautiful and beloved creation
the same way God would run it!!!

We were created to be God’s representatives. . .
God’s ambassadors. . .
to be God-bearers.
But somehow humanity lost it’s way. . .

Humanity lost it’s God bearing function. . .
not running the world as God would have run it. . .

making a mess of God’s creation.

But God has a rescue plan!!!

God raises up a Messiah
through the Chosen people. . .

Jesus. . .

Who ushers in something new. . .
a New Kingdom. . .
a new creation. . .
a new way of being human.

So first Jesus defeats the powers
that work against us being true God bearers. . .

Jesus reconciles the world back to Himself—
Jesus saves us.

And then Jesus shows us what it looks like
to be God bearers. . .

What it looks like to live in
the image and likeness of God.

And then Jesus says repent. . .
and believe in the Gospel. . .
believe in the Good News. . .

believe in your story. . .
claim your story. . .
live your story.

So go and feed the poor. . .

clothe the naked. . .

promote the dignity of every human being. . .

love like Jesus. . .

turn the other cheek. . .

forgive not 7 times but 70 times seven. . .

To love our neighbor as Jesus loves us.

But that’s hard isn’t it.

We know that to live this way. . .
requires a change deep inside of ourselves. . .

So Jesus ascends into heaven. . .
and sends the Holy Spirit. . .

the Sanctifier. . .

the Advocate. . .

to transform us. . .
to be born again. . .
to be part of a new way of being human. . .
part of a new creation. . .

to be transformed. . .

and then to transform the world. . .

a transformation that will come
to complete fruition
when Jesus comes again. . .

That’s our story!!!!

It’s an amazing story. . .

One that could not have been predicted. . .ingenious

Who would have predicted that
the all-powerful God of the universe . .

would use us. . .

ordinary and weak human beings at times. . .

to be in God’s image and likeness. . .

to run the world like God would run the world. . .

and to be agents of transformation for the entire world.

We’re kind of like those ordinary envelopes
used by Sir Oliver. . .

whose contents helped save the world.

Ordinary human beings on the outside. . .
but inside. . .
as Temples of the Holy Spirit. . .
God resides.

Ordinary human beings on the outside. . .
But inside. . .
Being transformed into other Jesus’s

To help usher in a new creation. . .
The kingdom of God.

Not a bad story is it?

No, it’s our Good News.

I love today’s Gospel. . .
Jesus feeding the 5,000.

Every encounter with Jesus
is closely connected with our story. . .

and the feeding of the 5000 touches on
two great themes of our story.

First, Jesus sees the hungry crowd. . .

They’re in need. . .
And Jesus has compassion for them.

 

The Roman system,
like so many political and economic systems
leave many out. . .

without the very basics of human necessities. . .
like food.

But Jesus has ushered in a New Kingdom,
where that’s just not acceptable. . .

so he feeds them.

And, as God bearers. . .
God’s ambassadors. . .

As ones given the great dignity and responsibility
of helping to run the world like God does. . .

So do we.

But this story also touches on another theme of our story.

After Jesus feeds them with bodily food. . .
they want to make him a king. . .

but he’ll have none of that. . .

He runs away!!!

If they only know this part of the Jesus story. . .
they’ll misunderstand him.

And so will we.

They will need see his suffering, death and resurrection. . .
and get a grip on the Eucharist to get the full Jesus story.

Just like manna in the desert. . .

The feeding of the 5,000 prefigures the Eucharist. . .
Where Jesus will feed with spiritual food. . .

Spiritual food that will help transform us so we
can go out and feed the hungry. . .

And love like Jesus. . .

And forgive like Jesus. . .

And have mercy like Jesus.. . .

Being Messiah people . . . Spirit people!!!

I’ll end with one of St. Paul’s best metaphor
that I hope brings all of this together.

St. Paul says that we Christians
can be a letter to the world. . .
from the Messiah.

Our lives a letter from the Messiah. . .

but a letter not written in ink. . .
but written by the Spirit of the living God.

Ordinary envelopes on the outside. . .

But on the inside. . .
The contents of the envelope. . .

Contains a letter to the world. . .
written by the Spirit who resides inside of us. . .

written by the Jesus whose body we eat
and whose blood we drink.

Holy Spirit 07/24-25/2021