Sermon of the week Rounded tummies or rounded out spirits
by By Don Taylor Retired Lutheran Minister
Aug 05, 2012 | 449 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
There are two parts of this week’s lesson which start our understanding of this passage from John 6:24-35. They are:

“What must we do to perform the works of God?” (29) Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

And: (35) Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

When Jesus had to deal with listeners who were over-wrapped-up in being fed the “sign” of the feeding of the 5,000, he did not neglect that physical need, but accentuated the need to have spirits fed, so this area of our life was rounded out with more spiritual food than we really needed. If there were “12 basketfuls” of bread and fish left over last week, this week what are we going to do with the “measure pressed down and overflowing”? Churches could do more to ask their members to get up and make a testimony on the overflowing spiritual gifts that God has given in their lives.

Imagine what it would be like if we “really” believed in the work of God and really were over-filled in our spiritual life. I say that, because we do not often enough share these feelings with others. Why, just yesterday, someone gave a second-hand story of someone whose life was changed because of a religious event to which they had been. There would have been so much more if the story had come firsthand from the person to whom it happened instead. In an article entitled, “From Rumbling Tummies to Living Bread,” the author writes:

“Our role in this story is to tell the history of God’s giving, similar to the psalmist. It is to open our eyes to the way the bread of heaven is sustaining us today, physically and spiritually. And as a community living in God’s promise, we look to the one God sends to us as the bread of life. In many early Hebrew and Greek writings, the stomach was a driving force and a place where hope and faith were lodged. The readings point us to see how a longing for food opens a greater dwelling place for the gifts of faith and promise. From our physical depths, we are called to experience a greater spiritual reality.

Too many of us suffer from rounded tummies, and too few of us are willing to talk about what the Lord is doing in our lives. The place to start this sharing is in the home, to grow in sharing it at Christian education events, and to be open to sharing in church settings. Then we will be experienced and can share it in the open.

God has filled us with the spirit in order that we might be sustained both physically and spiritually when we face leaner, more difficult times. My family, my church, and my new pastor lift up my spirit when I am the least bit down. In the past few years, my wife’s health has been more troubled than mine and her courage and strength have sustained my faith and made me take on more for her.
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