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Mt 14:13-21 · Ro 9:1-5 · Ge 32:22-31 · Ps 17
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Our Lord's Abundant Table
Matthew 14:13-21


Charles Swindoll tells a funny story about a nine-year-old named Danny who came bursting out of Sunday school like a wild stallion. His eyes were darting in every direction as he tried to locate either mom or dad. Finally, after a quick search, he grabbed his Daddy by the leg and yelled, "Man, that story of Moses and all those people crossing the Red Sea was great!" His father looked down, smiled, and asked the boy to tell him about it.

"Well, the Israelites got out of Egypt, but Pharaoh and his army chased after them. So the Jews ran as fast as they could until they got to the Red Sea. The Egyptian Army was gettin' closer and closer. So Moses got on his walkie-talkie and told the Israeli Air Force to bomb the Egyptians. While that was happening, the Israeli Navy built a pontoon bridge so the people could cross over. They made it!

By now old dad was shocked. "Is THAT the way they taught you the story?"

Well, no, not exactly," Danny admitted, "but if I told you the way they told it to us, you'd never believe it, Dad."

With childlike innocence the little guy put his finger on the pulse of our sophisticated adult world where cool skepticism reigns supreme. It's more popular to operate in the black-and-white world of facts…and, of course, to leave no space for the miraculous.

And so when we read the story of the feeding of the five thousand, we tend to focus our attention on the question, "Did it really happen?" There have been a number of attempts to "explain" the miracle. One attempt says that the people were so moved by Jesus' generosity and the generosity of the little boy that they brought forth the food they had hidden under their clothes and in their traveling pouches. This way everyone was satisfied. Another theory says that the story is not really talking about physical hunger but spiritual hunger. When the small amount of food was passed around everyone tore off a minuscule symbolic fragment. In this Jesus is said to have satisfied the thirst of the soul not the stomach.

I think these questions say more about us than they do Jesus..

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Leonard Sweet's Sermon

When "Vocation" and "Vacation" Are One
Matthew 14:13-21

If you want to guarantee you will never win public office or be appointed to public service, just say these words: "America is no longer the greatest nation in the world." It used to be the US led the world in almost any category you could think of. But in the past 50 years we've fallen to 7th in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, 3rd in median household income, number four in labor force, number four in exports. I'll stop there. You've got the picture.

We still do lead the world in some things.

We lead the world in television watching ...28 hours/week.
We lead the world as the most expensive place to have a baby ...about $10,000/child.
We lead the world in obesity (although Mexico is closing the gap fast).
We lead the world in anxiety disorders.
We lead the world in civilian firearms, beating out Yemen, Serbia and Iraq. The US now has more guns than people.
We lead the world in the highest incarceration rates, beating out Russia, China, Cuba and Iran. Our total prison population, including pre trial detainees and remand prisoners, is 2,239,751.
We lead the world in the highest health expenditures.
We lead the world in the highest cocaine rates, although we're pretty much tied with Spain in this category.

But one category we beat the rest of the world hands-down. NO contest. Not even close. We are #1 in NOT taking vacations. We are the worst vacationers in the world.

We stink - or excel, depending on how you see it - at taking vacation time, even when it's rightfully ours. Throughout Europe there are statutory minimum vacation days that employees MUST take. The minimum is 25 days. Twenty-five days! Believe you me, these European workers take each and every one of them...

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