More / Book of the Month / "The water that feeds" Mark 6: 45-56 (The Food we need - 2) Sermon Pr. Lucas Albrecht Sunday July 29th 2018 Season of Pentecost

"The water that feeds" Mark 6: 45-56 (The Food we need - 2) Sermon Pr. Lucas Albrecht Sunday July 29th 2018 Season of Pentecost




"The water that feeds" Mark 6: 45-56 (The Food we need - 2) Sermon Pr. Lucas Albrecht Sunday July 29th 2018 Season of Pentecost

 

**Transcript below**

SERMON OUTLINE

Text: Mark 6:45-56
Theme:  The Water that feeds (The Food we need - 2)
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Intr – We are on a sermon series called “The food we need”. Today, “The Water that feeds”. Now, can water be considered as a type of food?

“Water doesn’t appear on most food charts or pyramids, but it is critical. You could argue that it’s more important than grains because you can’t live without water, but you can live without bread.” [1]

“It is possible for a person to survive for many days and weeks without solid food, it is not that easy without water. Water is the most essential requirement of a functioning body. Water forms about 50-70% of the human body. Think of all the blood running through our blood vessels. It is known that the liquid part of blood, called the plasma, is made up of about 90% water.(..) The body needs water to regulate its temperatures. It also uses it a medium for blood development. Water is needed for the transport of hormones, nutrients and sugar to all part of the body cells. And many other functions.

This is why we constantly need to drink water, to keep our bodies functioning." [2]

          Even though we think water is not a type of food, we eat a lot of it every day in pretty much anything edible. So even though we wouldn’t call water a type of food, it is completely essential to nourish us, to keep us going.  Water is a subject that is sprinkled all over our Bible lesson today as well.

 1 – Water

-In the OT reading – Noah and his family had just been saved from the flood. In the NT we will see that the flood was a prefiguration of...Baptism. The verb baptizein in greek means. “to use water”. The water saves us – of course, connected with the Word.

Another detail: The bow in the clouds, known by us as The Rainbow. A Rainbow can only be formed when there’s water in the air. The sign of God’s promise to Noah and to all generations is written...with water and light in the sky.

_Light and Water are illustrations applied to Jesus in the Scripture. From this promise from God written in Water and Light, which has been daily fulfilled, we may be also remembered of His Greatest fulfilled promise – Jesus, The Light of the World, the Fountain of the Living Water.

_In Ephesians, Paul talks about the promise from the Spirit on our Inner being. Baptism again. Water.

2 – The Water that Feeds

_In the Gospel lesson, Jesus comes to the disciples walking on the water.
_Now here we see a scene where water poses a threat to the disciples. Not only to their body, but also to their faith.
_That was a miracle. And only Jesus could do that.  Sometimes we hear about people who are said to be able to perform this or that miracle. Truth is, they can’t. Only Jesus is able to. A person can be a vehicle for God’s action. But He is the one who performs miracles.

 _The food they need came from the water. This time though it was no fish (or loaves). This time it was ichtys.That’s a greek acronym the early Christians used as a summary of the Christian faith: Jesus Christ The Son of God Saviour.Jesus Words. Jesus’ care. Jesus love. He came to save them from the waves. He fulfills His promise to them.

_Jesus comes in the 4th vigil, when the disciples where exhausted. They could keep rowing till the end, and it still won't be enough. Sometimes is not a matter of rowing harder, but trusting deeper.Jesus is bigger than the waves and stronger than the winds. It is in Him that our salvation and hope rests.

_Now, pay attention to this: why did the disciples cry out for help? Because they knew they were in real danger. Their cry is random, but they still shout loudly. In the midst of problems, why would you cry out for help if you think you are not in real danger? Now when it comes to our Christian faith, if it has a role only of a “Feel good” thing in our lives, or a social commitment, or something I must do to please God and have Him pleased with me, then that’s the importance it will have in our daily life. Perhaps as important as having our life, car, house, insurance, It is only when we realize the extremely dangerous situation of sin in our lives(it separates us from God here and for eternity) that we will cry out for help. Not like the disciples did, though, because under extreme pressure tey fall back not to the arms of the saviour, but to superstition: “It’s a ghost!”. Jesus calls us to fall in His arms of love, as we ask: Jesus please, save me! I don’t want to drown and die!"

_And it’s not just a matter of believe after seeing Him. “Blessed are those who do not see and still believe.”

_Word and Sacrament – As water is essencial to feed our body, this is the essential nourishment to keep our faith running, and makes us live lives of faith and hope. They wash away our sins. Jesus comes to us. He listens. He saves us.
As the article about the H2O says: "This is why we constantly need to drink water, to keep our bodies functioning." The Water from the Word that feeds the World keeps our faith running, our life functioning and our hope of the life everlasting lingering.

Cc -“There was a man who got lost in the desert. After wandering around for a long time his throat became very dry, just about the time he saw a little shack in a distance. He made his way  to the shack and found a water pump with a small jug of water and a note which read: "pour all the water into the top of the pump to prime it, if you do this you will get all the water you need".   

Now the man had a choice to make, if he trusted the note and poured the water in and it worked he would have all the water he needed. If it didn’t work he would still be thirsty and he might die. Or he could choose to drink the water in the jug and get immediate satisfaction, but it might not be enough and he still might die.

After thinking about it the man decided to risk it. He poured the entire jug into the pump and began to work the handle, at first nothing happened and he got a little scared but he kept going and water started coming out. So much water came out he drank all he wanted, took a shower, and filled all the containers he could find. Because he was willing to give up momentary satisfaction, he got all the water he needed. Now the note also said: after you have finished, please refill the jug for the next traveler.” The man refilled the jug and added to the note: “Please prime the pump, believe me it works!”[3]

Water and LIght. They remind us of God's promises in Christ comes into our boat and sails us. He is bigger than the waves, stronger than the winds. He is the Water that nourishes our soul and keeps our faith and life running until the end. The food we need. Believe me. It works.

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[1] https://www.pccmarkets.com/sound-consumer/2005-08/sc0508-water/ Alarmingly, in the United States, more soda is consumed than water. The average yearly intake of soda is 40 gallons — a frightening experiment in ingesting fructose, corn syrup and artificial colors and sweeteners
[2] http://eschooltoday.com/science/nutrients-in-food/the-role-of-water-in-nutrition.html

“Our cells get the needed moisture from the water that we drink. Many fruits such as oranges, watermelon, grapes and apples contain water. Vegetables such as cucumber, tomatoes, and fresh salads contain water too. Digestion of solid foods also result in the release of water in our bodies.

 
[3] http://toquedevida.blogspot.com/2014/05/faithful-instructions.html

 

TRANSCRIPT

Good christian Friends, we are in the middle of a series called “the food we need”, and today we have the theme: “The water that feeds”. Now, can water be considered a type of food? Something that nourishes you? Usually we think of it just killing our thirst. But when we do some research, we find a couple of texts like this one that says: “water doesn't appear in almost foodcharts, but it is critical. You could argue that it is more important than grains, because you can't live without water, but you can live without grains. It is possible for a person to survive for many days and weeks without solid food; it's not that easy without water. Water is the most essential requirement of a functioning body. A body is supposed to be formed of 60 to 70% of water. Think of all the blood running your vessels, it is known that  the liquid part of the blood called plasma is made up of about 90% of water. The body needs water to regulate its temperature. It also uses it as a medium for blood development. Water is important for the transport hormones, and sugar and lots of different functions inside our body."  And one text says: “This is why we constantly need to drink water: to keep our bodies functioning.”
So you know that even though we don't eat water, we actually eat a lot of water during a day, during a week, because most of the food that we eat contains water. So, in a way, water nourishes through manyedible things as well. In a way, when we pray the Our Father every week, or everyday at home, we can have in mind that we say: “give us this day our daily bread... and water”, because water is as essential as bread as food for our lives. And water is something that is sprinkled all over some of our readings today.

In the OT reading, for example, we see that Noah and his family had just escaped the flood - when water covered the whole earth and they were preserve by God. So now in the New Testament the flood is called as a prefiguration of... the Holy Baptism. The water that saves you, the water that feeds you since from your childhood, if you were brought to Baptism as a child, as an infant. The  flood prefigurates how Christ saves us and applies this salvation and brings us to the family of faith through the waters of the Holy Baptism.

And another interesting detail from that reading in Genesis is that God puts a rainbow in the sky. So what do you need to have a Rainbow? You need light from the sun, and you need water; you need rain, on at least moisture in the air. So God writes in the sky a promise with water and light to let Noah in his family, and all generations after him up to us and the next ones, that His promises never fail. He’s been keeping that promise, and many others, and all the others He did to this day, to this very day, and He will keep them every single day. And that Rainbow, water and light, was a reminder of that. Some people say that in the early days of Christianity, when people were out in the field doing something after a rain, or a thunderstorm, if they saw a Rainbow in the sky they would stop and pray The Lord’s Prayer, because that was a reminder of the promises of God in Christ to them. Light and Water are also illustrations connected to Jesus in the Scriptures. Jesus is the light of the world. Jesus says, “If you believe in me, from your into your rivers of living water will come out and flow. So Jesus is the biggest promise that God did for you and for me. He promised “I will send my son that he will save you”. And he came. So in a way we could compare that: water and light, Jesus, is another way that God fulfills His promise. But here is not just a sign  - it is reality. It is Christ in human flesh, God and Man coming to save us. The light of the world, the water that feeds that comes to us.

And in Ephesians Paul talks about the promise from the Spirit to our inner being. That's an allusion to Baptism again, reminding us that water, not simple water, but water connected to the Word of God brings us salvation; bring us no nourishment; brings us everything we need for our souls and for our spiritual life to be nourished and nurtured by God.

And of course, specially in the Gospel today we have lots of water because of disciples are out there in the sea of Gallilee. But now they are facing a storm. And now water is not feeding them; water is threatening them. Now they might be drowning, they might lose their lives. Water is threatening, not feeding them.

So then Jesus comes and makes a miracle. Last Sunday, if you were here you remember I taught about some people trying to explain miracles in a physical way, or a rational way, like, “Jesus walked on water because he knew sort of and underneath rocky path, so He could step on the rocks - even though the winds and waves... But He managed to stand. And even though Mark doesn’t say it, but we know from Matthew, Peter asks to walk too, and Jesus says “come!”; and he comes, and he sinks -  even though being a very experienced sailor so to say, in that area. Jesus performs a miracle. He comes to them walking on the water. That's a miracle. Things that only Jesus can do. There are many things in our lives and only Jesus can do, specially the one he already did: He died on the cross for you. He walked on the water, that is, He overcame sin, something we would never be able to do. He comes and saves them and calms the tempest, the thunderstorm. The disciples, and we, know Jesus is still only one who can perform the possible; that are no impossibles for God in all His promises. And Jesus once again shows the disciples that truth and reality.

So now, in a way we could say the food that the disciples needed for that real dangerous moment came from the water. This time though not fish, like we have you heard last Sunday when Jesus multiplies fish and loaves - but this time it was the ICHTYS. This is the Greek word for fish. But also it was a word that early Christian used to identify themselves as Christians. Because the letters of it they would use for: "JESUS CHRISTOS TEOU HIOS SOTER." Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Saviour.So the food they needed came from the water, for Jesus comes from the water, walking on the water and says:”It is I! Don’t be afraid!” I’m here for you, I’m here to calm your fears, and I’m to nourish you with food, with the Word you have already being receiving from me along the way, but somehow my dear disciples still doubt, I don't know why, well I know Jesus would think, they sometimes still doubt that I can calm your fears and nourish your souls.

Another detail: the text acts as Jesus comes in the fourth vigil to them. That’s kind of puzzling for us because for us day and night are: maybe from 6 to 6 is day, and then 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM is night, and so, more or less that's how we divide. But back then they divided night, or the evening in four vigils: from 6 to 9 the first, 9 to 12 the second, 12 to 3 the third, and then last one from 3 to 6. So Jesus comes in that 4th vigil, three to six, early morning. But the disciples left shore way the earlier,  maybe even in the first or the second vigil they left the shore trying to reach the other side, and they are still in the middle of the lake. So from that moment until Jesus comes can we imagine what did they face in the storm? They were rowing, and trying, and rowing... We could look at this texts and think: Jesus comes to them in the last vigil, before morning, because they wanted them to know that they needed to run out of their own strength to learn to believe in Him. When they were possibly exhausted of rowing, that’s when Jesus is there in shows them I'm the one who can fix the situation and can help you.

It reminds us that sometimes in life it's not a matter of for rowing harder, but trusting deeper.It’s not a matter of looking to ourselves, “how can I get out of this situation?”, but look into Jesus, trusting deeper, and knowing that he is our life guard, He's our Saviour, He is the one who comes close to us, no matter the waves, 'cause he's bigger than the waves; no matter the winds because he's stronger than the winds. He is there for us. He has everything under him, specially sin, the devil and death. So He brings us forgiveness and lif.

Now pay attention to this: why did the disciples cry for help? (At some point the text says that they started to cry, to shout loudly): Because they knew they were in real danger. Their cry is sort of random, they don't say “Jesus saves us!”, they just cry in despair, but still they do it? Because they knew it were dire straits. Their life was at stake. In the midst of our problems, in the midst of our walking in our daily life, why would we cry for Jesus if faith in Him and our Christian life it's a matter of, well, “it is something I have to to do once a week, go to church”? Or it’s something that belongs to my life among many other things, or “Jesus is there as a kind of a helper, if I need Him I would call Him; otherwise I’m pretty well."? Specially during prosperous, not troubling moments, but  those prosperous moments when everything is going well in our lives. If you don't perceive the danger you won't cry for help. It’s when we realize the extreme danger of sin, because it separates us from God not only in this life, but forever - sin separates us forever from God to a place to one of us wants to go -, if you realize the real danger, then we youfor help. Unfortunately in the case of the disciples, under extreme pressure, with their lives at stake, they fall back not to Jesus’ arms, but they fall back to superstition; because we remember they said “It’s a ghost!” They sort of fall fall back to things that maybe were part of a culture of the time; instead of falling back in Jesus’ arms they fall into superstitions.  Jesus invites us under pressure not to resort to things out there that promise to help us, but to go straight to Him, Because He calls us to his arms of Love, as the cry for Him, “Jesus, I know I’m drowning! Please help me! save me! I want to be with you! I want to walk with You!”

Ok, “but for the disciples it was easier because they saw Jesus,  they walked with Jesus.” You know, here again we are reinforced in the idea that is not a matter of “if Jesus appears to me then I would believe Him harder” because they saw Jesus and still there were so afraid. And Jesus says later to Thomas, “blessed are those who don't see but still believe”. We see Jesus in His Word promising, we see Jesus in His Sacrament coming to us. We can see Him through faith walking with us every single day. Word and Sacrament. That’s the water that feeds us in a symbolic way when we think of something essential for spiritual lives. This the essential nourishment to keep our faith going, to keep our life going: and to be in the arms of the Saviour every single day.

As we remember that article says: “this is why the constantly need to drink water: to keep our bodies functioning”. The water, the nourishment from the Word that feeds the World keeps our faith and running, keeps our life functioning, and keeps our hope to the everlasting life.

Cc – “There was a man who got lost in the desert. After wandering around for a long time his throat became very dry, just about the time he saw a little shack in a distance. He made his way  to the shack and found a water pump with a small jug of water and a note which read: "pour all the water into the top of the pump to prime it, if you do this you will get all the water you need".   

Now the man had a choice to make, if he trusted the note and poured the water in and it worked he would have all the water he needed. If it didn’t work he would still be thirsty and he might die. Or he could choose to drink the water in the jug and get immediate satisfaction, but it might not be enough and he still might die.

After thinking about it the man decided to risk it. He poured the entire jug into the pump and began to work the handle, at first nothing happened and he got a little scared but he kept going and water started coming out. So much water came out he drank all he wanted, took a shower, and filled all the containers he could find. Because he was willing to give up momentary satisfaction, he got all the water he needed. Now the note also said: after you have finished, please refill the jug for the next traveler.” The man refilled the jug and added to the note: “Please prime the pump, believe me it works!”

Water and Light, reminders of God's promise in Christ. He comes into our boats to save us. He is bigger than the waves, stronger than the winds. The water that nourishes our soul, and keeps our faith running until the end. This is the food we need. Believe me, it works.


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