Shalom and a very good morning to you. I hope the little setback in the easing of the present restrictions have not impacted you to much. We are very excited that we can physically come back to worship in the Cathedral – although we can only have 20 congregants each Service. I pray that the past week had been a good week in your relationship with our heavenly Father.
Recently I read through Psalm 111 and it encouraged me. I would like to share it with you here. This psalm is an acrostic poem, the lines of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
A Psalm of Praise (Psalm 111)
I will extol the Lord with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly.
2 Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them.
3 Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate.
5 He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever.
6 He has shown his people the power of his works, giving them the lands of other nations.
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.
8 They are established for ever and ever, enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever— holy and awesome is his name.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise.
The Opening Prayer
The night has passed and the day lies open before us; let us pray with one heart and mind. As we rejoice in the gift of this new day, so may the light of your presence, O God, set our hearts on fire with love for you; now and for ever. Amen.
Third Sunday After Pentecost
Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray, and give more than either we desire or deserve: pour down upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask, save through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord. Amen.
Our Bible Reading this morning is taken from John 6:1-14
After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias.
2 A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick.
3 Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples.
4 Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near.
5 When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?”
6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do.
7 Philip answered him, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.”
8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him,
9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?”
10 Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all.
11 Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.
12 When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.”
13 So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets.
14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.”
A BOY’S LUNCH
Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many? (John 6:9)
There are two ways we limit ourselves to be used by God.
First we do not think that our contribution to God’s kingdom is important enough, and second, others do not think we have anything useful to offer.
Firstly, at certain times of life, we all felt insignificant and useless. Surrounded by people with greater talent than ours, we are tempted in our weak moments just to settle back and “let others do it.”
We reason that what we have to offer will not make much difference anyway. We forget that Jesus used five loaves (buns) and two small fish to feed a multitude of five thousand. Like that young boy on the hillside, each of us has something important to offer, we are foolish when we hold back because we discount the value of our contribution.
Secondly, “A small circle of usefulness is not to be despised,” observed Hudson Taylor, the famous missionary to China. Perhaps, he was reflecting on his own life experience when he first applied to be a missionary. The mission board rejected him because he was too sickly and insignificant to justify them sending him to China. They deemed him not good enough to be a missionary. How wrong they were.
Hudson Taylor was convinced that God had called him and was going to use him in China. He worked hard to earn enough money to support himself and study hard in medicine to help the people of China. He gave all he had for God and let God use him unreservedly to bless others. God did exactly that like Jesus did when the boy sacrificed his lunch. It fed 5,000.
Whatever we have, however insignificant they are, we need to hand them to God for Him to multiple and bless others. Whether our talent is great or small, the performance is not complete until we do our best with what we have.
Let us Pray:
O God of grace, as I live for you today:
Let me face what you send with the strength that you supply;
When you prosper my undertakings, let me remember you and allow your word to prosper in my heart;
When you call me to go through the dark valley, let me not persuade myself that I know a better way;
Let me not refuse any opportunity to serve for you for your glory;
Let me not fall into the temptation of self service;
Let not the sins of yesterday be repeated in my life today, nor the life of today set any evil example for the life of tomorrow;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Morning Collect
Eternal God and Father, by whose power we are created and by whose love we are redeemed: guide and strengthen us by your Spirit, that we may give ourselves to your service, and live this day in love to one another and to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. May we rekindle the gift of God within us.
Thank you for sharing this time with me.
Have a wonderful and blessed day living for our Lord Jesus Christ.
Goodbye and see you next Monday.
 by Audrea Cassanas