Weekly Evangelectionary for Sunday August 23, 2015

ElementsLectionary (Year B): 1 Kings 8(1, 6, 10-11), 22-30, 41-43 or Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18; Psalm 84 or Psalm 34:15-22; Ephesians 6:10-2-; John 6:56-69
Theme: “To Whom Can We Go?”
Message: “The Cry of the Human Heart”
Proposed outline:

  1. Description of the Feeding of the 5000
  2. Discourse on the Bread of Life
  3. Response of the Jews and the disciples
  4. Jesus’ sobering question and Peter’s Inspired Answer

Quote(s):
William Barclay tells the story about the experience of an artist who was painting the picture of the Last Supper. It was a great picture and it took him years to paint it. He went out to find a model for the face of Christ, and he found a young man with a face of such transcendent loveliness and purity that he painted him as Jesus. Bit by bit the picture was filled in and one after another of the disciples was painted. There came the day when he needed a model for Judas whose face he had left to the last. He went out and searched the lowest haunts of the city and in the dens of vice. At last he found a man so depraved and vicious that he took him as a model for the face of Judas. When the sittings were finished the man said to the artist: “You painted me before.” “Surely not,” said the artist. “O yes,” said the man, “and the last time you painted me, you painted me as Christ.” The years had brought the terrible deterioration. Years can be cruel. They can take away our ideals, and our enthusiasms, our dreams and loyalties. They can force our lives inward and smaller—instead of outward and larger. They can leave us with a heart that is shriveled and not expanded in the love of Christ. God deliver us from that!  – Bruce Laverman

“Peter’s response to Jesus is not a word of despair or a statement that they will have to settle for Jesus because there is nothing else. Peter and the others who remain have been given the gift of knowing that Jesus is the one who can give genuine life. Here, as elsewhere in this chapter, the paradox remains: faith only comes as the Father draws us, and yet Peter and the others (and we too) are asked for our response. Peter and the other twelve “choose” to remain, and yet the greater and prior reality is that they have been chosen (verse 70). The mystery of faith and unbelief is not answered by supposed solutions to the paradox, but by grateful confession that the Father has indeed drawn us to faith in Jesus, and thus to eternal life.” – Brian Peterson, Prof., N.T., Southern Seminary (Lutheran), Columbia, S.C., Commentary, Jn. 6:56-60, working preacher.com

Film, other visual aids:

  • Places in the Heart, 1984 – Final Eucharist scene-reconciliation and the interconnectedness between characters in the story.

Music: “O Word of God Incarnate,” “Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts,” “I Need Thee Every Hour,” “We Come, O Christ, to Thee” “Cry of My Heart” Text and music: Terry Butler (b. 1955) c. 1991, Mercy/Vineyard Publishing, admin. Music services

Opening Prayer
Gracious and ever-beckoning God, in whom we always find that for which we have been searching and seeking, receive us into your holy presence and abide with us in these precious moments of communion with you, and your Son, Jesus, through the power of your Holy Spirit, we pray. Amen

Intercessory:
Leader: For all those who are gathered here this morning for worship,
People: Hear our prayer, O Lord.
Leader: For those who come with heavy hearts,
People: Hear our prayer, O Lord.
Leader: For those who come carrying a load of guilt they have not dared to share,
People: Hear our prayer, O Lord.
Leader: For those who have been unable to find work,
People: Hear our prayer, O Lord.
Leader: For those whose physical limitations are a continuing challenge,
People: Hear our prayer, O Lord.
Leader: For those who are struggling to find a satisfying faith,
People: Hear our Prayer, O Lord.

Benediction:
“Now may the Lord lift up the light of His countenance upon you, and give you peace, in your going out and in your coming in; in your sitting down and your rising up; in your work and in your play; in your joy and in your sorrow, in your laughter and in your tears; until that day comes which is without dawn and without dark.” Amen. – Thomas Graham

avatar About Bruce Laverman

Bruce is a retired pastor and former Director of Evangelism in the Reformed Church in America now living in Phoenix, Arizona. He is the RCA's representative to Evangelism Connections and serves as Managing Editor of this Web site.

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