Sunday, February 24 – Why Jesus?

Week #8 is Sunday, February 17, 2019 – Narrative Lectionary Story: Matthew 14:13-33

Theme: In a familiar story Jesus feeds a crowd of hungry people. Then, in a moment of crisis, Jesus is there again. Peter is afraid and Jesus offers his hand to rescue. Why Jesus? Because Jesus is trustworthy.

Video Intro: In this video is Jennifer Duncan, a mom, and her daughter Lauren, a high school junior talking about a partnership their congregation has with the local school system. Each weekend, people from the congregation along with an organization called Sheridan’s Story pack weekend food into kids’ backpacks before they leave school. One thing their congregation has learned is that there is always enough – enough food to share, enough funding to make it happen, enough for all because of who Jesus is in our lives. So why Jesus? Because Jesus is trustworthy. Check it out!

Confirmation: Check out the Confrimation Material – Because Jesus is trustworthy to go along with the video!

Readers Theater on Matthew 14 that can be used in worship instead of the regular reading.

Sunday School Curriculum: Please contact whyjesusproject@gmail.com to request the curriculum from Epiphany, January 6 thru Transfiguration, March 3.

Music is has been written especially for the Why Jesus? Project, but here are a few suggestions:

Here are Music Selections for Each Week

Other Sermon Ideas:

  • From One Basket to Abundance! Artist and Pastor Paul Oman (Amery, WI) painted two pieces to illustrate this story  at a former congregation, one at each service. The first was Jesus looking at the huge crowd with his arm around the shoulder of the boy with a few fish and some loaves of bread. The second painting is a favorite, though: It is the end of the story.  The twelve baskets of leftovers are sitting under a tree by the sea. The crowd was so full, Paul imagined, that they left the abundance of food behind, too full to take it with them. Imagine such abundance!
  • Relationships (and Trust) are Built at the Table: Leonard Sweet’s book, From Tablets to Tables, emphasizes the  importance of table fellowship in the Bible: “At the table, where food and stories are passed from one person to another and one generation to another, is where each of us learns who we are, where we come from, what we can be, to whom we belong, and to what we are called.” You’d be surprised at all the encounters in the Bible that include a meal, a group around a table! What have you learned at the tables of your life? Other books on this theme: Barbara Brown Taylor’s Altars in the World and Shauna Niequist’s Bread and Wine (plus recipes!)
  • One video idea about dinner rituals: In the TV series, the Big Bang Theory, a group of friends form a family of sorts by sharing meals in common in one of their apartments in Los Angeles. It is always takeout, and almost always Chinese. One of the leads, Sheldon, has particularity about where he sits (and no one else may sit there) and how his food is prepared. Check out this one classic example: How do we adjust expectations at the table to include others?

Children’s Sermon 

Props: Two loaves of bread and five plastic fish

Welcome! Do you want to hear an amazing story? Jesus was teaching and people were so excited to hear what he was saying that people continued to join the crowd to listen to Jesus. Everyone got really hungry and Jesus took just two loaves of bread and five fish, held them up and blessed them, and when they passed out the food there was enough for 5,000 people!?! Can you believe it? Yes, 5,000 people.

Now, I want to tell you what he did later that day. Jesus is God. This means Jesus can do things we cannot do. In order to tell this story, I need your help. I need you to start swaying like you are on the boat.  When I say three I want you to lean to the right and then lean to the left. You are the waves of the ocean. We need everyone in the congregation to help us as well. Ready set go! (Start people leaning to the right first, then to the left, continue telling the story as they lean.) One day Jesus was walking on top the water to get to the boat. Jesus’ disciples could not believe what they were seeing. Peter got so excited to see Jesus that he didn’t even realize he was walking on water. (Stop the swaying.)

Jesus’ disciples trusted Jesus. They trusted Jesus could provide enough food and they trusted Jesus to help them do the impossible, like walking on water. We can trust Jesus too because Jesus keeps his promises. When there doesn’t seem to be enough — enough love, enough time, or enough courage we can always trust Jesus.  So, why Jesus? Because Jesus is trustworthy.

Let us pray:  Jesus you show-up and surprise us. You surprise us with your love provide us with courage. Help us to trust that you are with us each day and that you send us helpers and signs to remind us of this promise. Amen.

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What is the Why Jesus Project? Check out the FAQ on Why Jesus? Home Page.

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