30 March 2012

Homily for Lent 4

The Fourth Sunday in Lent - Laetare - is one of my favorites for preaching. There's so much in that Gospel reading of John 6:1-15. If we focus simply on the physical Feeding of the 5000, we can point out the joys of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life, providing for all of our bodily needs. Martin Luther certainly took this approach in his house postils for this Sunday. And yet when we include the context of the rest of John 6, Jesus the Bread of Life draws us into eating His flesh and drinking His blood in order to receive His eternal life. He certainly provides for our spiritual needs in the Eucharist.

This year, however, I must admit to becoming fixated on the fixations of Philip and Andrew--fixations that got in the way of their faith. Philip was obviously fixated on the enormous need of so many hungry people coming to Jesus. Andrew was fixated on the meager resources of the mere five small barley loaves (akin to sandwich rolls?) and two small fish. And so the homily focused on Jesus "Fixing Our Fixations."

Our Bread of Life, the living Lord Jesus, does indeed fix our fixations over enormous needs and meager resources. Not only does our gracious heavenly Father provide for our bodily needs (First Article), but He also gives us His Son (Second Article) to forgive us for our fixations that get in the way of faith. On top of all that, our gracious, saving God also brings us into His Church (Third Article), where He feeds us on Himself to strengthen our faith.

Click here to download the audio file and listen to "Fixing Our Fixations."

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