A really full church at Holy Trinity Ipswich welcomed the Revd Tom Rout as the new priest in charge of the Waterfront Benefice (Holy Trinity, St Helen’s and St Luke’s) and chaplain to New College Suffolk and University Campus Suffolk. Mayor Bill Quinton said he really enjoyed the service and pointed out in welcoming Tom that it was a massive job – but Tom’s a great chap, there is lots of help, and there are great opportunities too, so I am full of hope. Folk were very kind in their comments about the sermon so here are my notes, which as always can only give a flavour of what I actually said.
13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. 15 When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.’ 16 Jesus said to them, ‘They need not go away; you give them something to eat.’ 17 They replied, ‘We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.’ 18 And he said, ‘Bring them here to me.’ 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Thanks to all – and Tom, who chose the reading
which takes our focus very helpfully back to Christ
Start with honesty about our need
The disciples came to him in their need
We need to come to him too because there’s lots of it
And NB the plural.
Not divided and sent away but find future together
All different but come as one to Christ, the reconciler
And open to his unexpected answers
Are you ready to come to Christ together in faith to seek his help?
When the disciples seek help from Christ they find new life
Nothing but five loaves and two fish.
Points us from their/our inadequacy to what Jesus can do,
exceeding our expectations: “bring them here to me”
Jesus and his prayer reconnect heaven and earth
The author is in the story changing it as he goes.
JeSuis Charlie: human solidarity very important
but I keep reading it as I in Jesus
This is how we start to love another in a whole new way
Are you ready to receive the new life of love that he offers?
Find ourselves sent out to offer new life to the world
Twelve baskets: all Israel, restored
Invitation here to believe/trust that God’s kingdom is coming
in our uncertain and secular world
We are landed into it not invited to escape from it
We are sent into the world to make a good difference for God
Are you ready to be sent out to take hope to a world in need.
Faith, hope and love: if we need a manifesto in this election season, that will do for me – and perhaps it will do for you as well.