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10th Sunday after Pentecost
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Sermon Excerpt:  Bread for the Journey, John 6:25-35, by Dr. David Rogne


In a movie based on Ernest Hemmingway's story, "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" there is a scene in which two men are discussing with each other the difficulty of finding meaningful goals in life. Both are big game hunters, which enhances the symbolism that both of them know what it is to pursue something, yet neither has found what will really satisfy. One man tells the other of an incident, which provides the theme of the story. One day while he was high above the snow line of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, he found the remains of a leopard, apparently frozen to death in that most unlikely place. The men speculated about what the leopard was seeking at that high elevation. They conclude that whatever it was, the leopard was seeking the wrong thing, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and it destroyed him. The implication is that this is the way it is for humans as well: we aspire to something, pursue something, and if it is the wrong thing, or if it is sought in the wrong way, it leads to our destruction.

The New Testament deals with that same theme, the human search for meaning, in equally serious terms. Consider the passage we read this morning. A large number of people were on their way from Northern Palestine to Jerusalem to celebrate their most significant religious festival, the Passover. On the way, many of them had seen or heard about some of the unusual things Jesus of Nazareth was doing, and they turned aside to listen to him, and to see if he would perform some miracle in their presence. They stayed too long out in an uninhabited place, and Jesus was concerned that they should have something to eat. He took a small amount of bread and fish, blessed it, distributed it among the people who were present, and amazingly, there was enough for everyone.

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