3 min sermon of the Feeding of the 5000

This week at Vicar School we had to present a 3 minute sermon – harder than you think and has inspired some thinking on preaching which will undoubtedly follow on the blog…!
Anyway this was mine…

John 6.1-15 // Feeding of 5000 // 3 min sermon

One thing I have been guilty of (amongst many things I am sure) is feeling too busy, of not having enough time. And God has been speaking to me about that recently and in fact has shown me in quite amazing ways that if I just focus on him, there will be more than enough time. So I’m going to start with a little story about that…
A few weeks ago I had a last minute deadline to meet for work, a grant bid that had to be completed and submitted by the next morning. And for various reasons I had neglected some rather key parts of this.  I’ve got to be honest, I didn’t give this much thought, or prayer, I just assumed this would be an all-nighter (and I’m sure as students with essay deadlines we’ve had a few of those right?), it was the school hols, the kids were at home, there was no way I was going to get this done. But by complete chance (HA!) I had an hour without the kids, just enough to get started on it all. But as God had been speaking to me about time, I just prayed, Lord this is your time, I just give it all to you, I can only do what I can do.
Well, all I can tell you is that just over an hour later, the entire thing was finished, grant bid, all the key parts, financial projection, all of it. Finished just as the kids, came to find me. It was nothing short of a miracle. Because God simply multiplied that time. He took what I gave him and increased it, and not just a little bit but in abundance.
And that’s what we see in the story of the feeding of the 5000. God – Jesus –  multiplying the little that was given to him, in abundance.
But I think what this passage shows us, is that we have a choice. We can focus on the problem or we can focus on God and his answer to the problem.
We see, don’t we, the disciples focussing on the problem and not the answer, asking of the little they have: ‘but how far will they go among so many?’
and we see just how far: Jesus multiplies what little they bring and provides food for everyone.
Not only that, he didn’t just feed them, he didn’t just give them enough, he fed them ‘as much as they wanted’ it says, and even then there was masses left over.
Because he is a God of ‘more than enough’, a God of absolute plenty and abundance. There is always more.
So what does that mean for us now? 2 things I want you to take away:
1) the bible tells us we carry the spirit of God within us – God multiplied, spiritually, though us. There is enough of him for everyone. And not just enough but an abundance, including the leftovers if you like.
2) whatever we bring, he can multiply.
If we bring a mustard seed of faith, he grows it; if we bring weakness he makes us strong; if we bring a talent, he increases it; if we bring time as I have seen for myself, he makes us more efficient (WAY more efficient!)
So today, I encourage you to just give to God what you have, however little or large, and ask him to multiply it.
Let’s believe in a God of abundance!

Amen.

The Lorax… a kids church activity…

So we took the kids to see The Lorax Movie this week. They have been on about it for a while and we finally managed it… I have to admit I was intending to have a little kip whilst in the darkened cinema but actually I loved the movie and so sleep was postponed… If you haven’t seen it – do. It’s a brilliant illlustration of looking after our planet and what greed can do to you. And it’s absolutely brilliant for sermon illustrations, there are so many angles you could take. The bit I really loved is at the end when all the trees have been cut down, and the beautiful countryside we saw at the beginning decimated, BUT… one boy has been given the last remaining seed for these beautiful truffula trees. And he manages against all the odds to plant it and with that to convince his town to change. At the very end we see all these tiny trees beginning to shoot up.

This morning we had an all age service looking at the feeding of the 5000. I was doing a kids activity and my friend who was preaching had the idea of growing cress. So I used the Lorax as an illustration on what God can do when we offer him very little. We used the seed from the movie to represent the little thing we would offer to God this week, asking people to think what they could give, maybe 5 mins of prayer a day, offering to take a meal to a neighbour in need, or being especially nice to someone at school etc. Then we planted the seeds to represent this and to see how God would multiply both our seeds as they grow and hopefully what we had offered him this week. We used the phrase ‘Little is Much When God is in it’ and put in on truffula trees (the ones in the Lorax). It worked so well I wanted to post some pics! Our kids are so creative… and for all kids workers it was an easy one to organise and also v cheap!!