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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Are you Overwhelmed?

Sunday’s Reading: Romans 8:28-39

Refs used in Sunday’s message: John 6:5-13, Luke 9:13-15, Psalm 34, Psalm 91

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Pastor Lorne’s message on Sunday was about being overwhelmed. The biblical example he used was that of Jesus feeding the crowd of 5,000. Of how overwhelming it must have been for the 12 disciples when they realized they were expected to feed that huge crowd.

Pastor Lorne said the crowd was probably larger than 5,000 because both John and Luke speak of the crowd of 5,000 men and don’t mention anything about the women and children that also followed wherever Jesus went.

To put this in perspective, I’ve just googled the internet and if the info is correct, Wikipedia lists the Brandt Centre in Regina as having a seating capacity of 7,000. Wow. (And Jesus didn’t get to use their microphones, either.)

Pastor Lorne says to pretend you are one of the disciples. Jesus asks you to feed the people. Well, you can’t run to the corner store, and even if you could, you don’t have any money to buy anything. What do you do?

Would you be like Philip? John 6:7 shows Philip as saying: "Eight months' wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!" Okay, so he was a realist.

Andrew knows it won’t feed everyone but being an optimist, he brings forward a young boy and his lunch of 5 small barley loaves and 2 small fish. (John 6:9) Then Andrew looks at Jesus and says, “but how far will they go among so many?"

And what of the other disciples? What an overwhelming task!

If you look at Luke’s version (Luke 9:14), Jesus told the disciples to divide the crowd into groups of 50 each. So, the ratio would be approx 1 disciple*** for each group. Pastor Lorne reminded us that they didn’t have buffets back then either. (While writing this blog entry from my notes taken on Sun, I got to thinking about the Glenavon Bakery. Again, for perspective, I phoned and asked how many they can feed at one sitting - 64. Can you imagine if you had to serve them all by yourself? I mean, we’re not talking about the buffet style they do on Sunday mornings, but actually hand feeding each of them? When I called the Bakery, I spoke to Amber, one of the servers. I asked how she’d feel if she had to hand serve a meal by herself. Her quick answer was, “Tired!”) ***Feb 11: there would have been approx 100 groups with around 50 people in each group for the 12 disciples to handfeed. And yes, that would have been overwhelming! (Sorry - it seems I can't add.)

Still putting yourself in the sandals of the disciples, while you’re handing out the food to your group, wouldn’t you dwell on the fact that there wasn’t enough food for everyone? Wouldn’t that be overwhelming?

Pastor Lorne mentioned events in our modern world. Like those TV commercials about the starving children in 3rd world countries: have you been so overwhelmed thinking that your few dollars won’t make a difference? What about those homeless people in the inner cities – there are so many … what can you do? Would giving them a few dollars really make a difference?

Pastor Lorne referred back to John 6:11 – it says the crowd was given to eat “as much as they wanted”. That means they ate until they were full and could’ve had seconds! Not only that, but when they were done eating, Jesus told his disciples to gather up the leftovers. Leftovers? John 6:12-13 says they “filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten”. So, they ended up with more than they started with after 5000 men had their fill!

What made the difference? One young boy’s lunch and Jesus giving the blessing (John 6:11).

Are you overwhelmed with things in your own life? Are you in so deep you just can’t seem to get anywhere? Do you have a task that you should be doing but you keep putting off because it’s so overwhelming?

Whatever situation you’re in, take it to Jesus. He’s able to lift you out of anything, no matter how depressing, hopeless, or trivial it seems.

Jesus already knows what He’s going to do to help you, so why put off asking him? He’s waiting for you to bring it to Him.

If you would like to talk to Pastor Lorne about this or any other matter, his contact info is on the bottom right of this screen.

Your comments are invited.

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