Given By Ann Runion January 7, 2018 at Pilgrim UCC in Carlsbad CA pilgrimucc.org

According to the church calendar, we are suppose to talk about Jesus’s baptism today. Baptism is connected to vocation. It marked the beginning of Jesus’s ministry. When we affirm our own baptism, we are saying we are ready to follow in the way of Jesus. It is our job as Christians. Today’s text refers to the disciples returning to Jesus after he had sent them out on their first solo mission. Jesus sent them with nothing and told them to rely only on the kindness of strangers. Upon their return, a crowd gathered around Jesus. Instead of sending them away, Jesus told his¬†weary disciples to feed them. There were only 5 loaves and 2 fish. The disciples had doubt but followed Jesus’s instructions. All ate and were full. There were even enough left-overs to fill 12 baskets. Anna reminds us of another instance were 4,000 were fed and cared for by a small group of Christians. In 2016, Haitian refugees left Brazil and traveled to the United States. After crossing the border, they were picked up by the border patrol. They were paroled with nothing, often at night with nowhere to go or any resources. A citizen noticed and called his pastor. Their church was small and they needed more help. They asked the Christ Ministry Center. They shared what little they had. Miraculously, everyone received help. Today, we are weary from the events of 2017. By just showing up, we are “fed” and renewed. When we give just a little, we reap an abundance. Just like the disciples, the community’s needs follow. We serve even when we are tired. As we serve, we are fed and receive God’s blessings.

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