• Rossendale Circuit

Jesus The Bread of Life - Sunday Service 08.08.21

Updated: Aug 17

with Revd. David Burrow


Video Service


Or watch on youtube here.


*Due to some technical issues I wasn't able to format the text properly hence the random colours.*


Hymns & Songs:


MP 769 ‘Who is on the Lord’s side, who will serve the king?’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfunlcqcBXA


MP 385 'Jesus the name high over all'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSeAYKG-8Ko


MP 251 'How sweet the name of Jesus sounds'

https://youtu.be/pUW1DbwIBEg

or https://youtu.be/mDFtgQKBqv4

(no lyrics)


MP 590 'Seek Ye First'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsBpM9IcBts


MP 746 'What a friend we have in Jesus'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwi_qKVI8lQ African children’s choir


MP 446 'Lord thy word abideth'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcghwj7zZZg


MP 809 'Blessed be the name of the Lord'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYrcrP1ysjw


MP 783 'Ye holy angels bright'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAwTDwbVM3o



Other Links


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Our Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/rosscircuit


Our Website: https://www.rossendalemethodistcircuit.co.uk/


Our Email Address: rossendalemethodistcircuit@gmail.com



Transcript


Rossendale Circuit Worship 8th August 2021 Reverend David Burrow

Jesus the Bread of Life

Call to worship: Read Psalm 34:1-8

The writer of this Psalm encourages us to join him in worshipping God, to call on God when life is difficult and experience God’s presence. And in verse 8 to ‘taste and see that the Lord is good’. This is an invitation we can all pass on to others. Why not try it and see what happens?


MP 769 ‘Who is on the Lord’s side, who will serve the king?’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfunlcqcBXA


MP 385 'Jesus the name high over all'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSeAYKG-8Ko


Prayer: Father, we worship you. For you are holy and perfect. Your glory, splendour and majesty are beyond our understanding. All creation owes its existence to your wonderful love and bears the marks of your fingerprints. And yet, you left the glory of heaven and became flesh. You stooped down to lift us up that we might stand before your throne of grace. Jesus, the Word, became flesh and showed us how to live. But we crucified him and crowned him with thorns. Our sin nailed him to the cross as his words of forgiveness for all left his lips. Father, forgive our willingness to sin and turn away from your grace. Cleanse us and make us new. We praise you for choosing to forget our sin as we repent, and we thank you for your promise to wipe the slate completely clean. Fill us, we pray, with your Holy Spirit that we might feed on Jesus, the Bread of Life, grow in faith, and bring glory to your name. In the name of our risen Saviour we pray. Amen


The Lord’s Prayer


MP 251 'How sweet the name of Jesus sounds'

https://youtu.be/pUW1DbwIBEg

or https://youtu.be/mDFtgQKBqv4

(no lyrics)


MP 590 'Seek Ye First'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsBpM9IcBts


Read: John 6:35-51 Don’t forget, you can read all of chapter 6 to get the full story.


Jesus, the Bread of Life

Can you remember where you were on Christmas Day 1984? I was staying, with fellow volunteers, in a bunk house around 8000 feet above sea level. We were being entertained by an all singing, all dancing local man, probably in his '60's dressed in traditional costume; pigs tusks round his neck and through his nose, a loin cloth and grass skirt to cover his modesty, all topped off with an impressive wig. For Christmas 1984 I was in Papua New Guinea. Our entertainer was one of only a few people left who had eaten human flesh. He had, before the arrival of the white man, been a cannibal, and probably would have loved, earlier in his life, to have taken Jesus’ invitation to eat his flesh literally.


Are you shocked at hearing about people who ate human flesh? If you are, you may understand the impact of Jesus' words on his listeners. They were horrified even. Drinking blood was against Jewish law, as was eating meat with the blood still in it. No back puddings or a steak cooked rare!

But surely, Jesus’ listeners were not taking Jesus' words literally? An expert writing about this passage says: Any dullard could see that Jesus was not speaking literally; no-one would suppose Jesus was seriously advocating cannibalism and offering himself as the first meal.

Jesus' language was figurative, symbolic. Yet, we are still left with the question, ‘What does Jesus mean by, “I am the bread who came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

Let's begin with the references to the manna in the wilderness and the bread from heaven in verses 49-51. The manna was God’s gift to the people, but it was a gift that did not last, it rotted away if you tried to store it, and those who ate it would eventually die (verse 49).

In verse 50 Jesus tells his listeners that there is a bread that comes down from heaven which, if you eat it, you will not die. After which Jesus says, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven”.

This reminds us of the opening of John’s gospel where John makes the bold claim that God’s Word, Jesus, became flesh . . . and came to live among us. From this point on John describes what it means for God to live among us. As he describes the person and life of Jesus of Nazareth, John wants his readers to understand the unlimited love of God’s nature and purpose in living among us in all its grace and wonder. The idea that Jesus has ‘come down from heaven’ tops and tails John’s gospel; the Word, Jesus, who was with God and was God has been made flesh and dwelt amongst us, and Jesus ‘has come from the Father and is returning to the Father’ (John 16.28).


Photo by Christina Rumpf via Unsplash


Back to the manna, the bread in the wilderness. Jesus accused his listeners of placing too much emphasis on Moses and the manna, and not enough on God who provided the manna.

Likewise, the crowd listening to Jesus were putting too much emphasis on the miracle of the feeding of the 5000 and all they had eaten and not enough on God who had provided for their needs.

Ultimately the manna was not important, (although it was necessary for survival); what, or rather who, really mattered was the one who sent it, GOD.

Jesus like the manna, came down from heaven, but the manna only kept people going physically, whereas Jesus gives eternal life.

How do you eat the bread of life without becoming a cannibal?

Jesus makes it clear.

To eat the bread of life, Jesus’ flesh, you must believe and have faith in Jesus and he will ‘raise you up on the last day’ (verses 40 and 44).

Jesus is from God, and the bread he gives is his own body, given on the cross for the life of the world (verse 51). Augustine said, ‘Believe and you have eaten’.

Sadly, many of Jesus’ listeners refused to believe.

Some of them knew Jesus’ mother and father and so couldn’t bring themselves to believe Jesus’ claims for himself.

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised.

We would probably find it hard to believe that anyone famous might live near us. Just imagine if you knew the parents of an Olympic gold medal winner, or a famous actor or politician.

Then contemplate what it must have been like for the people to look at Joseph and Mary’s boy and believe that he had come down from heaven, that he could raise people from the dead on the last day and that he would give his life for the life of the world. By ‘the last day’ Jesus meant the Day of Judgment at the end of time.

Everything Jesus said seemed to stretch people’s ability to believe and yet we know that he longed for people to have faith in him and believe all that he taught them.

After Jesus’ death and resurrection his followers began to understand his words. In the light of Jesus’ death and resurrection it all made sense.

Jesus, the bread of life, had given his body for the life of the world, and then he had been raised to eternal life.

Believing this to be true, Jesus’ followers, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and no longer fearful, set out to convince the people of the world that Jesus had died for every one of them.

They set out to convince people of the central truth of this Bible reading.

And that central truth is this: we need feed on Jesus, to receive Jesus, by believing that he is who he claims to be.

Jesus’ disciples had good news, great news to share and they had a job to do, starting in Jerusalem and gradually working their way out in to the world they were to make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Everybody needed to hear the good news of God’s love shown to humanity through Jesus’ death on the cross, his resurrection, and God’s offer of the forgiveness of their sins. Everyone needed, and needs today, to hear how they can feed on the Bread of Life and so never be hungry again.


I pray that each one of you will believe and so feed on Jesus who is the Bread of Life. I pray that your faith will grow and deepen, and that on the last day, Jesus will raise you up to eternal life.


MP 746 'What a friend we have in Jesus'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwi_qKVI8lQ African children’s choir


MP 446 'Lord thy word abideth'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcghwj7zZZg


Prayers of Intercession – with thanks to Revd David Clowes

Father, we pray for those who are receiving unwelcome news and for those whose lives are being turned upside down:

for young people whose end of year results are not what they had hoped for; for those whose future plans seem to have been completely wrecked by the pandemic and for those joining the fruitless search for employment.

Father, share their journey today, and give them hope.


We pray for those receiving their consultant’s diagnosis and who face a life-changing situation; for those whose illness has huge implications for their lives and the lives of their families. We pray for all those confronted with such times of uncertainty.

Father, share their journey today, and give them hope.


We pray for those who face death every day as they live in countries at war and for those who long for the war to end; for those who face the constant threat of terrorist action and for those whose peace has been lost by the atrocities of their neighbours. We pray especially for the people of Afghanistan, of Yemen and the Central African Republic.

Father, share their journey today, and give them hope.


We pray for those whose loss of employment has brought stress to their home and for those whose redundancy is robbing them of their self-respect; for those in danger of losing their homes and for those who need several part-time jobs and the support of food banks to put food on the table.

Father, share their journey today, and give them hope.


We pray for all who grieve; for those who have no-one to share their precious memories with and for those who are losing their memories of places and people. In the stillness we name those we know before you now.

Father, share their journey today, and give them hope.


We pray for the Church worldwide, for our sisters and brothers who are being persecuted for their faith in so many nations. And we pray for the church where we live remembering the people we worship alongside.

Father, share their journey today, and give them hope.

And Father we take a moment to pray for ourselves. Feed us with Jesus the Bread of Life and empower us by your Holy Spirit that we might journey with you and be filled with hope.


We offer all our prayers in the name of Jesus Christ, our risen Lord and Saviour.

Amen


MP 809 'Blessed be the name of the Lord'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYrcrP1ysjw


MP 783 'Ye holy angels bright'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAwTDwbVM3o


Blessing:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.



What is God saying

to these people

at this time

through this text?


The central truth is that we need to receive Jesus by believing that he is who he claims to be.

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