Posts Tagged ‘Meredith Jackson’

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Are We Ready to Feed 5000?

August 4, 2011

Meredith JacksonMeredith Jackson is a seminary intern at First Church. Here is an excerpt from a sermon she preached on Sunday, July 31, 2011, using the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 with just five loaves and two fishes. The prelude to this Biblical story was that John the Baptist had been recently killed.

I have hope that God will provide for our future. I trust that God will give us what we need by giving us each other. Jesus, even when he was mourning the loss of his great friend John, got out of the boat, onto the beach, and trusted that God would provide the food that the people needed. God also gave the people each other, and the people had food. They simply opened their knapsacks and lunchpails and shared what they had with their neighbor. God provided and all 5000 were fed.

I believe that First Church Berkeley can feed the 5000. I believe that there are 5000 people in the world that are searching for a place like First Church. In this space and in this time we have all that we need to feed the people. When we lift our gifts to God and give thanks and praise, we genuinely live into who we are. When we are authentic and thankful, we are able to feed the people.

Every day we hear stories of people who are searching for this church. I hear it every day—stories of violence in high schools because youth haven’t figured out that there’s another way to live. We hear of college students and seniors living far from their families and searching for people to connect with. Do you know of same-gender loving couples who haven’t been able to find a faith community that is willing to stand up for their human rights? When we hear all of these stories we know people are hungry for a place like First Church.

How many lives could be changed by this place? This community is a powerful place and it can create transformation we are longing to experience. The change towards a safe space for all people. A transformation away from loneliness and depression and into life in community. A change towards a world that knows how to seek resolution without violence.

Download the sermon…

Find out more about First Church Berkeley, United Church of Christ…

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What Feeds Us?

August 3, 2011

Meredith Jackson used the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 as the basis of her sermon on Sunday, July 31. She asked a few people to share some of the things that fed them personally. This was what Bonnie Hester shared in the service:

 “I am sustained by a deep sense of God’s presence in my life, embodied in ordinary daily interactions I have with people—friends, family and people I don’t know. God is in the experience of a friend calling to check in or a neighbor sharing his freshly baked bread with me. The joy I feel as I see the world through the eyes of my 5-year-old grandson and the twinkle in the eye of his grandfather is sacred. It is even there in the impulse I feel to hold my irritation in check while driving or let someone go before me at Trader Joes. I feel a sacred presence as well as surprise when I am somehow better than myself. Every interaction is an opportunity for me to notice God’s presence. Through countless small nourishing exchanges imbued with holiness, my life is enriched and I am sustained.”