“… “We have nothing here except five loaves of bread and two fish.””
Jesus was a master at seeing beyond the surface – of situations or people. He saw in Peter a rock on which to build the church – though at the time Peter was more like sand shifting with the wind. He saw in Matthew, a hated tax collector, the promise of strength and wisdom.
We are not masters of seeing beyond the surface. Like the disciples, we can be pretty good at jumping to conclusions, making snap assessments. Most often those snap assessments relate to what we are capable of doing – or what we are not capable of doing.
I believe that God is leading us to see beyond what we know and see the possibilities. Statistics and demographics tend toward the belief that Christianity is on its way out the door. Churches seem to shrink. Spirituality seems to be getting replaced with schemes to find happiness. Every other add or commercial is trying to sell us the good life.
Jesus could, at the same time, see his contemporaries trapped in legalism, and clueless about the power of God to re-recreate the faithful life. So much of what Jesus did was to re-create us in the image that God wanted us to have all along. The healings he did on the Sabbath seemed pointed directly at where people had lost sight of possibilities.
In so many ways this church is a “can-do” church. We can make a difference in the lives of those who are food insecure in our community. We can bring children under our wing and show them the ways of God. We can reach out and welcome others to the family of God.
One of the most amazing places where this church has seen possibilities and answered the call is through “Praise the Lord in the Hall” – PTL – at 9:00 on Sundays. Several had the vision of a worship offering that would open doors to young families. Not that they aren’t welcome in either of our other two services. Young families can just have rather unique needs and struggles. Building fellowship through serving breakfast seems to have made a big difference. The atmosphere is casual, and the conversation is wonderful. Then the contemporary music and video teaching spiritually feeds those who come. By the way, we have a rather diverse group represented at PTL from youngest to oldest. The last two weeks we have reached 50 in attendance! Lives are being touched by the gospel. God is moving amongst us.
Our regular worship services are growing as well. People are inviting others. Community if finding their way to this spiritual fellowship.
When Jesus saw the need on the mountain, he asked the disciples to give them something to eat. Five Thousand men PLUS women and children?! They saw their limits – five loaves of bread and two fish.” By Jesus’ actions he was saying, ‘let me show you the unlimited possibilities.’
As we enter the next chapter of ministry together in Thermopolis, let us ask God to keep our eyes open to the unlimited possibilities God is capable of bringing to reality through us.