Monday, June 11, 2012

Bread in a Desolate Place

I am reading the current issue of Gottesdienst and have enjoyed a sermon written on Mark 8:1-9 by Pastor Larry Beane II of Gretna, LA, using as the opening text: "How can one feed these people with bread here in this desolate place?" (v. 4)

In summary, he tells how this world is a desolate place because of sin, and only through Jesus' coming into this world can we hope for nourishment unto eternal life.
For the Lord Jesus Christ came to our desert, to be born among sinners, to be worshiped by sinners, to be baptized like a sinner, to be tempted by the devil in the stead of sinners, to be crucified for us poor, miserable sinners, to rise from the grave as a victory on behalf of sinners—all to save sinners.

And as Jesus preaches to sinners in the desolate place, He does something else for sinners. Moved by “compassion on the crowd” (v. 2), He offers them a different kind of bread. “Having given thanks, he broke [the pieces of bread] and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and they set them before the crowd” (v. 6).
He then ends with:
Our fainting flesh is infused with satisfaction in body and soul by means of the forgiveness of the cross, the satisfaction of the Lord’s blood, the sharing in the Lord’s body, the miraculous work of the Spirit in the Word—bringing us to a garden of life that has no end!

To the question, How can one feed these people with bread here in this desolate place? we have the answer, dear friends: the bread of life come down from heaven!  In Christ’s work, in Christ’s Word, in Christ's Sacraments, in Christ’s recreation of the world anew as a garden of life, and in Christ’s Communion that we share in this miraculous bread that is for us, a feast that never ends!

Thanks be to God, now and forever!  Amen.
What a glorious thought to know Christ is our satisfaction both here and eternally!

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