Dear friends in Christ,
“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” John 6:9
Jesus had been teaching 5000 people and now they were hungry. He knew he was going to feed them all, but He still asked His disciples where they would buy bread for the crowd. They disciples were astounded. They counted the cost in their head and knew it was beyond them. But Andrew seems to have understood. He brought to Jesus the boy with five loaves and two fish. His question was obvious: “What are they for so many?” But Jesus is not limited by impossible circumstances. The harder the situation, the more He shows forth His glory. He blessed the bread and broke it and gave it to the disciples to distribute it all. So too with the fish.
Imagine how the boy felt! He witnessed it all. He saw what Jesus did. For the rest of his life, this miracle stood as a beacon of light, a reminder of God’s power, and a testimony that Jesus is truly the Bread of Life. No matter where he went, no matter what happened to him, this boy was one who had been fed by Christ. And likely he understood what the crowds didn’t. That its not getting more bread from the hand of Jesus that matters. What matters is getting Jesus Himself, for He is the Bread of Life! Faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins! Eating and drinking the body and blood of Christ under the bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper! Jesus is the Bread of Life!
I mention the boy in the reading from John 6, because this month our youth group is going to go to a Lutheran youth gathering in Colorado. The theme is “Jesus, the Bread of Life.” Just as the boy with the loaves and fish learned to trust Jesus, so too our youth have learned to trust Jesus as He comes to them in Word and Sacrament. Our youth come to Jesus at a time when the Church faces so many challenges. They bring what they have, they come to Him as who they are. And Jesus will bless them and use them to grow in His service.
This conference is put on by Higher Things. They are a Recognized Service Organization of the LC-MS. They work to put on excellent gatherings for youth groups each year. The gatherings give lots of time for worship (using the liturgy and hymns of our Church) and the kids love it. They gatherings give lots of time for the kids to learn and be equipped in the faith. The kids soak it up. And the gatherings give the kids lots of time to have fun together and make memories that last a lifetime. Higher Things is doing a great job of equipping our kids, and we thank God for their service.
Our youth and chaperones are going to travel to the conference in Fort Collins, CO with the youth group from St. Paul Lutheran Church in Escondido. We are renting a van and leaving after church on July 24th. We plan to get back on Monday August 1. I am going along with the youth group this year. I have the privilege of teaching a session at the gathering about Praying the Lord’s Prayer with the Prodigal Son. It is an honor to be part of teaching the kids at Higher Things. Pastor Orman with preach and celebrate the Sacrament on July 31 while I am gone, so a big thank you to him!
Higher Things conferences make a big difference in the lives young people in the Church. Please pray for our youth as they go to the conference, so that we are all safe, and so that they can learn and grow. We are still in the process of raising funds to help the youth attend the conference. The youth group will be hosting a fundraiser on Saturday July 9 at 5:30 p.m. We will be serving you grilled bratwurst and fixings and we will be showing the classic movie, “Casablanca.” Al Rex will be bringing his popcorn machine. You can imagine how good that popcorn will smell! We will all have a good time together, so please come! A freewill offering will be gathered to help our youth enjoy this wonderful opportunity.
Thank you and God bless you!