Standing on the Rock Week 1: Christ Feeds Us Through His Church.

This week we are beginning a five-week August Series about standing on the solid foundation, the solid rock, of Christ’s Church. In today’s introductory message, we hear the familiar story, from Matthew’s perspective, of the Feeding of the Five Thousand. Let’s put ourselves in this scene (Matthew 14:13-21). After a long day, the exhausted and exasperated disciples try to get Jesus to send away the hungry throng; but Jesus looks at them, so preoccupied with their own selfish concerns, and says, “Give them some food yourselves” (14:16). Imagine their shock: five thousand men, with another few thousand women and children; and the Master wants the apostles to give them a meal. They look at

The Church is IN the world but not OF the world

Dear brothers and sisters, The parable of the dragnet from today’s Gospel reading (Matthew 13:44-52) teaches us a crucial lesson about the Church: It is in the world, but not of the world. The net symbolizes the Church, and the fish are the members of the Church – you and me. The water symbolizes the world of human history, in which the Church exists and with which the Church interacts. At the end of history, there will be a judgment. Jesus will “come again to judge the living and the dead,” as we pray every week in the Creed. At this judgment, some of the fish in the net will be saved, but others will be thrown back, into the fiery furnace, “where there will be wailing and grinding of

God is All-Powerful (and it matters)

Dear brothers and sisters, This weekend’s Gospel reading is the Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat (Matthew 13:24-43). One surprising thing about this parable is the calm, patient reaction of the landowner. This was a wealthy and powerful man – only wealthy and powerful people owned multiple slaves. How do wealthy and powerful people usually react to enemies who try to interfere with their business? It’s typically not with such calm and patience, but with quick revenge. So, why was this landowner able to take this attack from an enemy in stride? We should not be naive – this was a serious attack; it will cause the landowner more than four times the normal amount of investment to bring

Christ Respects Our Freedom

Dear brothers and sisters, In today’s Gospel reading (Matthew 13:1-23), we hear the familiar words of the Parable of the Sower. Christ’s words have power. Immense crowds are pressing on upon him as he teaches. The crowd was so big, that Jesus actually got into a fishing boat, and he used the lake as his speaking platform, so that he could address everyone gathered on the shore. Crowds like this hung on his every word wherever he went. He could easily have turned them into a revolutionary army and manipulated them for any number of purposes. Instead, he simply invites them to change their hearts. Jesus truly is the Lord, but he refuses to bully us into following him. He is the “sower”

Christ Brings Peace

Dear brothers and sisters, Happy July Fourth ! As we celebrate the birthday of our country, we pray for the peace that comes from God, a peace from God that can alone bring healing and reconciliation during these divisive and troubling times. We pray especially for all civic leaders and for those who influence our culture in any way. There are two kinds of leaders in the world: those who use other people to get what they want and those who sacrifice themselves to bring prosperity to others. Jesus is the second kind of leader. Today’s First Reading expresses this beautifully; it is a prophecy describing the Messiah. God’s promised Savior, Israel’s great king, who will come and rescu

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Church of St. John 

Love God, Love People, Make Disciples

Church of St. John

570-223-9144 Ext. #2

5171 Milford Rd.

E. Stroudsburg, PA 18302

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