It is time for us to ‘feed the five thousand’ – a parable for the building project
At that time a great crowd gathered in the presence of Jesus, longing to hear more from him about the Kingdom of God. After a long time listening to some amazing teaching, the disciples whom Jesus had chosen saw that the people had needs – practical, physical needs. They urged Jesus to send the crowd away to other places to fulfil those needs but Jesus said that these disciples were to meet them, right here, right now. The disciples were aghast – that would take such an enormous amount of money, which they didn’t have. Jesus asked them to bring to him whatever the people had, which they did, and it really didn’t seem to amount to very much. Jesus blessed what the people had given and when it was distributed, everyone was satisfied. It wasn’t a banquet but it was enough. And there was some left over for the people to take back into their communities and share with others. This is what the Kingdom of God looks like.
There is a great crowd of people in our community with needs – needs which only the presence of Jesus can satisfy. Imagine yourself in their shoes. You have heard that good things can be found in Christ Church… but how do you get into that building if you’ve never been before. It doesn’t even have a proper front door! Also you can’t see what’s going on inside, so how will you know where to sit, what to do? (What if you need the loo? Do they even have toilets in church?) No, it’s too difficult, best not to try to go in.
What if it didn’t look like this to the ‘five thousand’? What if it looked easy to come into Jesus’ presence and be met by other people who look ‘just like me’? What if the atmosphere wasn’t Victorian, mysterious and ‘religious’ but friendly, warm, normal-looking? The sort of place ordinary people gather together. What if it looked fresh and bright and you could smell coffee as you walked in? Wouldn’t that be easier?
It is time for us, right here, right now to meet this need, even though it may look like it will take such an enormous amount of money. It is up to us, the disciples Jesus has chosen, to be active in resourcing this work, giving whatever we can and asking others to do the same. It might not seem to amount to very much but when we offer it to Jesus, it will be precisely enough to do exactly what is needed, with some left over for us to share. This is what the Kingdom of God looks like.Tags: Building Project, Magazine