Pastor Weise’s Sermon – What Are We Going to Eat?

Pastor Weise's Sermmon - First Things First

Pastor Weise’s Sermon – What Are We Going to Eat?

Genesis 2.7-17/St. Mark 8.1-9

Trinity VII/August 4, 2019

Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd/Good Shepherd Community Chapel, Sauk Rapids, MN

Rev. Keith R. Weise pastor/chaplain

LISTEN TO SERMON

TEXTS

Prayer of the Day

O God, whose never-failing providence orders all things both in heaven and earth, we humbly implore You to put away from us all hurtful things and to give us those things that are profitable for us; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

 

Genesis 2.7-17

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

10 Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. 11 The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which goes around the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one which goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.

15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”    (NKJV)

 

St. Mark 8.1-9

1 In those days, the multitude being very great and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said to them, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way; for some of them have come from afar.”

Then His disciples answered Him, “How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness?”

He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?”

And they said, “Seven.”

So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and they set them before the multitude. They also had a few small fish; and having blessed them, He said to set them also before them. So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments. Now those who had eaten were about four thousand. And He sent them away.    (NKVJ)

 

 

 

Invocation    In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

I          Do you ever

have a fridge and pantry full of food

and wonder—

What am I going to eat?

 

Usually at our house

Deanne is the one who cooks.

 

(I can cook—

but I just don’t very often.)

 

But with Deanne and the girls in Texas for the summer—

even when I’ve got all kinds of food—

I find myself wondering on a pretty regular basis—

What am I going to eat?

 

II         When we’re talking about

meals or a snack—

it’s not really a big deal—What am I going to eat? 

Well, eat whatever you like.

 

            But when it comes to the things of God—

What am I going to eat?

becomes a very big deal.

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III       Perhaps to keep Adam from asking

What am I going to eat?

God told him

from the start

what to eat.

Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die, says the LORD.                                               (Genesis 2.17)

 

God gave Adam the fruit of all the trees of the garden to eat—

—minus the tree of the knowledge of good and evil—

And these trees were pleasant to the sight and good for food        (Genesis 2.9)

Moses tells us.

 

Adam had plenty to eat.

So did Eve.

They did not want.

They did not go hungry.

and

They certainly were not going to starve.

God gave them more than enough food.

But the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was off-limits.

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IV        Well—

we all know how that worked out.

 

In the next chapter of Genesis—

Moses tells us

how the serpent led Eve to take the fruit and eat it—

and

how she gave some to Adam and he ate it too.                                 (Genesis 3.1-4)

 

And then—

exactly what God said would happen—happened—

Their eyes were opened.

They knew evil that they had not known before.

and

Death came after them.

 

V         From that point on—

From the point when Adam and Eve ate that forbidden fruit—

all men have had to work by the sweat of their brow

to get food for themselves

and for their families.

From that point on

all women have struggled to make their way through life

laboring uncomfortably under authority

and trying to work their way

through a world

no longer tailored to their God-given gifts.

From that point on

EVERYTHING

has been turned upside down—

and now even the simplest question sometimes turns into a real struggle—

What are we going to eat?

 

VI        And to top it all off—

now we die.

No matter what we eat—

death is coming after us all.

 

Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil—

and just like God said—

they surely died and so will we.

 

If only they had asked themselves—

What ARE we going to eat?

                                    and then listened to the answer God had already given!

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VII      This question—

What are we going to eat?

comes up in the Gospel today, too—

but in a little different way.

 

A crowd of people had been following Jesus for three days.

Their food ran out.

To send them home now

would mean some of them wouldn’t make it without passing out along the way.

They needed to eat.

 

Jesus said—

I have compassion on the multitude and they have nothing to eat.

                        If I send them away hungry . . . they will faint on the way.                     (St. Mark 8.3)

 

How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness?

the disciples say.                                                                                      (St. Mark 8.4)

What are we going to eat? 

 

VIII    Well—

just like God had an answer to What are we going to eat?

in the Garden of Eden—

here—in JESUS—God also has an aswer.

 

Jesus asks the disciples—

How many loaves do you have?

                        And they said, “Seven.”

So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground.  And He took the seven loaves and gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and they set them before the multitude. 

 

They also had a few small fish; and having blessed them, He said to set them also before them.  So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments.  Now those who had eaten were about four thousand. 

 

And [THEN] He sent them away. 

(St. Mark 8.4-8)

 

The people asked—

What are we going to eat?

                                    And Jesus provided them with bread and fish—

and strength for their journey home.

When Jesus sends these people away—

he sends them away

well-fed—

with bellies full of food

that has been blessed by the hand of God, himself.

 

No curse here.

No passing out along the way.

No death.

Only life-giving food

miraculously provided

by Christ

for his hungry people.

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IX       Maybe all this talk about What are we going to eat?

is making you hungry?

 

So—

What are WE going to eat?

 

            Well—

we’re not in the Garden of Eden.

And

we’re not out in the country on a mission trip with Jesus—

so we’re not exactly in the same situation as

Adam and Eve

or

the people who followed Jesus in Bible times.

 

But here—

in this chapel—

God still has an answer to our question.

 

When we ask—

What are we going to eat?—

Jesus does something remarkably similar to what he did for his followers in the gospel.

 

Right here—

Jesus takes bread—

gives thanks and blesses it—

sets it before us and says—

TAKE.  EAT.  THIS IS MY BODY WHICH IS GIVEN FOR YOU.

 

And just like he also blessed the fish in the gospel—

here among us—

he takes wine—

gives thanks and blesses it—

sets it before us and says—

TAKE.  DRINK.  THIS IS THE NEW COVENANT IN MY BLOOD, WHICH IS SHED FOR YOU FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.

 

THIS DO AS OFTEN AS YOU DRINK IT, IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME.

(I Corinthians 11; St. Matthew 26; St. Mark 14; St. Luke22)

 

X         With this food—

With this holy food—

With this bread and wine

that are Christ’s body and blood—

he does for us

the same thing he did for Adam and Eve in the garden before the fall.

With this bread and wine from heaven

Christ does for us in a miraculous way

the same thing he did

for the crowds who followed him for three days

and ran out of food.

 

With this bread and wine that he has blessed and set apart for holy use as his body and blood—

Christ Jesus

feeds us

and

fills us

and

gives us strength for our journey home.

No curse here.

No passing out along the way.

No death.

Only life-giving food

miraculously provided

by Christ

for his hungry people.

 

 

XI       When Christ feeds you his body and blood

your hunger and thirst for righteousness is satisfied.

your strength is built up for your journey through this dying world.

your weakness is banished and so is the devil.

 

And

best of all—

When Christ feeds you his body and blood

YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN

and the curse of death that Adam and Eve brought upon us all

by eating the forbidden fruit is

finally

and

fully

overturned!

 

When Christ feeds you his body and blood

God welcomes you into everlasting life again.

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XII      So

What are we going to eat?

 

            Well, I don’t care what you eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner

or any time in between.

And frankly, God doesn’t either.

 

But what are we going to eat

                        HERE

IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD?

 

Well

Listen to God and the answer he’s already given us.

Listen to Christ as he speaks his prayers and blessings over the most holy food of

the Sacrament of the Altar.

 

When it comes to the things of God—

When it comes to eternal and holy things—

the best thing you can eat

is the food Christ gives you right here in the Sacrament of the Altar.

 

Eat Christ’s body.

Drink his precious blood.

Eat and drink to the forgiveness of your sins.

Eat and drink to the building up of your strength—

and your most holy faith.

Eat and drink to the renewal of your everlasting life.

Eat and drink to the victory of Christ and the defeat of the devil and his lies.

 

Eat and drink and be filled with food that has been blessed by the hand of God,

himself.

Eat and drink as Christ comes and makes his home in your heart.

Eat and drink as Christ fills you with every blessing

and strengthens you for your journey through this life

and all the way to the life of the world to come.

Eat.

And drink.

And live.

 

And the never-failing providence of God will fill you with all good things—

now and forever.

 

What are we going to eat?

Oh taste and see that the Lord is good.                                                           (Psalm 34.8)

Blessed are you who eat what he has given.

 

Praise God.

Amen.

 

Invocation    In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Hymn of Response:  Create in Me.

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