- Hymn 555 Amazing Grace Tune Amazing Grace (Church Hymnary 4th Edition)
- All age time
- Reading Matthew 14: 13-21 (Good News Bible)
- Hymn 268 O God of Bethel Tune Salzburg (Church Hymnary 4th Edition)
- Prayer for others
- Hymn 547 What a friend we have in Jesus Tune Converse (Church Hymnary 4th Edition)
Welcome and let us worship God
‘Never again shall they feel hunger or thirst; because the lamb who is at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd and will guide them to springs of the water of life.’Revelation 7: 16-17
If the video above won’t play try the music only version below:
1 Amazing grace! how sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
was blind, but now I see.
2 ‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
and grace my fears relieved;
how precious did that grace appear
the hour I first believed!
3 Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
’tis grace that brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home.
4 The Lord has promised good to me,
his word my hope secures;
he will my shield and portion be
as long as life endures.
All age time (for ages 0-100)
- Today’s Bible story
In today’s Bible story Jesus uses five loaves and two fish to feed a large crowd
- Something to make
tuna or salmon sandwiches (cut into triangles if you like – see below) for lunch or tea
a drawing of the loaves and fish on a plate (you could use a paper plate, or draw a circle round a plate and then cut it out – with adult help is necessary – and draw loaves and fishes onto it).
Maybe even stick on little bits of aluminium foil to represent the fish scales
- Something to think about
If you are asked to do something is your immediate reaction to say ‘I can’t do it’, ‘I haven’t got time to do it’ or ‘OK, how would you like me to do it?’ Is the key thing ‘can’t’ (don’t have confidence) or ‘won’t’ (don’t have the inclination)?
Wherever we go
– to school, to work, at home, at someone else’s house –
you are there
your love and care are always around us
Wherever we are the moment, you are with us
as we take a break from the busy-ness of life
and pause to think on you
We bring you thanks and praise
for all your goodness and kindness
We come to hear your word for us
sometimes comforting sometimes challenging
We seek to know more
about what following Jesus means in practice
We seek healing and peace
We come to say ‘sorry’
for all the times that we have ignored you
have let you down
have not followed Jesus’ teaching or example
We ask for your forgiveness
and for your help to follow Jesus faithfully
In his name we pray. Amen
Matthew 14: 13-21
When Jesus heard the news about John [that he had been executed in prison on the orders of Herod], he left there in a boat and went to a lonely place by himself. The people heard about it, so they left their towns and followed him by land. Jesus got out of the boat, and when he saw the large crowd, his heart was filled with pity for them, and he healed those who were ill.
That evening his disciples came to him and said, “It is very late, and this is a lonely place. Send the people away and let them go to the villages to buy food for themselves.”
“They don’t have to leave,” answered Jesus. “You yourselves give them something to eat!”
“All we have here are five loaves and two fish,” they replied.
“Then bring them here to me,” Jesus said. He ordered the people to sit down on the grass; then he took the five loaves and two fish, looked up to heaven, and gave thanks to God. He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. Everyone ate and had enough. Then the disciples took up twelve baskets full of what was left over. The number of men who ate was about five thousand, not counting women and children.
Below we have a link to the virtual choir of Troon Old Parish Church singing Scottish Paraphrase 2, better known as “O God of Bethel!”, to the tune Salzburg (Haydn):
Alternatively, click > play below to hear the music
1 O God of Bethel! by whose hand
thy people still are fed,
who through this earthly pilgrimage
hast all our fathers led:
2 Our vows, our prayers, we now present
before thy throne of grace:
God of our fathers! be the God
of their succeeding race.
3 Through each perplexing path of life
our wandering footsteps guide;
give us each day our daily bread,
and raiment fit provide.
4 O spread thy covering wings around,
till all our wanderings cease,
and at our Father’s loved abode
our souls arrive in peace.
5 Such blessings from thy gracious hand
our humble prayers implore;
and thou shalt be our chosen God,
and portion evermore.
Reflection: Voices from the crowd of 5000
- The rather snobby lady from Tiberias
Did you ever see anything like that? It was an absolute disgrace! The man should be reported to the Environmental Health. If I were doing sandwiches for a large gathering of people, they would be much better presented than that muck. I always feel that a mixture of white and brown bread looks good, and I cut the crusts off before I cut them into triangles.
I always get my fish from the fishman. It tastes so much nicer, but for sandwiches I do like the tins of salmon that they do in Marks. I never do tuna. I find it so tasteless. I always feel that it is the cheap cousin of salmon. Imagine offering people bits broken off whole fish, and bits of broken off cheap bread rolls. It really is so vulgar, don’t you think?
And what about the way it was served! You could tell that it was a man in charge: no salvers, no tongs, no garnishes. Makes you wonder what his mother was like, if she didn’t show him these things at home. I took one look at the hands coming round serving the bread and fish, and I thought, “Have you ever seen soap and water?” And as for the baskets they were using – I dread to think what was alive and well and crawling about in there.
I absolutely refused to take anything when they offered it to me. No matter how hungry I am, I am not eating stuff like that. I do have my standards!
- The man who likes a good party
See that Big Picnic up there, I was so disappointed, so I was. One of my mates, Dave, he comes from Cana and he invited me to his wedding to Jess a couple of years ago. That was when I first met that Jesus guy. He was really interesting, and a right good laugh. It was a great night: loads of food, a good band, some cracking girls, and plenty to drink – like seriously plenty.
Well there nearly wasn’t, because they were just about to run out when the guy Jesus did some magic and the slimy old water butts became cracking vats of vintage wine. And no hangover the next day!
So I thought, when it came to feeding this crowd, Jesus would pull the stops out. 5 loaves, 2 fish, bit of Jesus magic and hey presto, five course dinner complete with a range of wines. But there was no five course dinner, no wine, not even coffee and mints. Just loads and loads of bread and fish till it was coming out of your ears. It was awful.
I’m not paying any attention to that guy again.
I don’t like fish. Never have. Don’t like the taste, and don’t like the flaky bits. I don’t like barley bread either. It’s too gritty.
You’d think with all that talk about consideration for others he’d think a bit about what people like and don’t like when he’s planning a menu. I mean, what would you have done if you were vegetarian, or you were on a special diet? He should have offered a choice – especially for people like me that don’t like fish or barley bread.
Some people just don’t think of others!
Prayers for others
Jesus enjoyed eating
and he enjoyed being in company with other people
Eating is not just something that we have to do to stay alive
but is something that we can enjoy
we all have our favourite foods
(and our unfavourite ones!)
but whatever is on or in the plate
it is always more enjoyable when we share the meal with someone
We give thanks for those who prepare our meals
and confess that at times we take their efforts for granted
We pray for all who are (or were) employed in the hospitality sector
in this difficult time for them
We pray too that we will always be hospitable –
whether we are bringing someone indoors or not
offering them food or not –
and let them feel welcome and valued
not an interruption or intrusion into our day
We pray for all who are ill,
those who look after them
and those who worry about them
those waiting for or receiving treatment
and those for whom there is no treatment
those who are lonely, feeling down, or grieving a friend or loved one
those who are worried about home, work or money
a friend or a relative
those who are living with the after-effects of natural disasters
those who do not have enough to eat, or somewhere to call home
those who long to live in peace and safety
those who have fled from their homes seeking safety
We pray for the Queen, the Government
all in positions of leadership in this and every land
We pray for your church
our own congregation
the wider church in Dumbarton
the world-wide church
We bring to you our prayers for people and situations of special concern to us
And we sum up our prayers in the words of the prayer Jesus gave us
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen
if the video above won’t play, try the music option below
1 What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
oh, what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer!
2 Have we trials and temptations,
is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged:
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness:
take it to the Lord in prayer.
3 Are we weak and heavy-laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Jesus is our only refuge:
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he’ll take and shield you;
you will find a solace there.
God the Father sends you out
to be his witnesses wherever you go
to work to bring healing and wholeness in all you do
and the blessing of God Almighty
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
rest and remain with you,
today, and every day, and for ever. Amen