SUNDAY SERMON: Forgetful followers

Stephen Baldwin

NT: Mark 8.1-21

*Today, our churches celebrate Bright Sunday (also known as Holy Humor Sunday), where we focus the worship service on sharing laughter and joy in the Easter season.

Men, let me ask you a question. Does your wife expect you to read her mind? 

Does it get worse with age? Because I don’t remember it being this bad before. When Kerry wanted something, she used to tell me. 

“Hubby, have you taken out the trash?” 

I know what that means. Go take out the trash. 

These days, all I get are little bits and pieces that I’m supposed to string together like a quilt. She knows I’m not smart enough to do that. 

One week she’ll say, “What are you doin’ this Saturday?” Then the next week she’ll say, “I’m thinking about going to a book club dinner.” Then the next Saturday comes and I ask her why she’s walking out the door, and she says, “I told you I was going to book club a month ago.” 

Maybe she expects me to read her mind, maybe I don’t listen closely enough. The ladies here would probably say we don’t listen closely enough. And when you don’t listen closely enough, you can get in all kinds of trouble. 

Just ask the disciples. The poor ol’ disciples. In today’s scripture, Jesus feeds five thousand people with only a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish. Then he feeds four thousand people with only a few loaves and fish. They even have a bunch of leftovers. So much they give some away and take some with them. They get in the boat to head across the lake, and they get hungry. 

Then comes the kicker. The disciples forgot the bread. The bread Jesus just multiplied…twice! And even worse, they’re worried about it. They don’t know how they’re going to eat or where they’re going to get bread! 

Do you not get it, Jesus asks? Do you not remember how I fed five thousand with a few loaves, then fed four thousand with a few more, and we still had leftovers? Which you forgot to bring! And now you’re worried about what you’re gonna eat? 

The next time they eat together is described in Matthew 26. It’s at the Last Supper. “Take, eat. This is my body, broken for you.” 

He fed them, despite everything. He fed them, even though they forgot the bread. He fed them, despite their doubts. 

We don’t need to read Jesus’ mind to know how forgiving and how loving he is. He feeds us, no matter what. That is good news. 

Jesus didn’t want the disciples focusing on what they lacked; he wanted them focused on what they had. And they had everything they needed. The love of God. The body of Christ. The joy of faith. 

Jesus can read our mind, and he knows we focus on what we lack; he wants us to focus on what we have. And we have everything we need. The love of God. The body of Christ. The joy of faith. 

Can you believe it? 

Can you believe it? 

Say it like you mean it, do you believe it? Amen.

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