Thus says the LORD: “In an acceptable time I have heard You, And in the day of salvation I have helped You. Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted His people, And will have mercy on His afflicted.”
How do the heavens sing? How is the earth joyful? How do the mountains break forth in song? And more to the point, why should they? They are in bondage to sin, just as we are. The sad consequence of Adam's sin is that all in his dominion fell into bondage to decay.
The heavens, the earth, and the mountains don't really have much to be joyful about. Stars explode, the earth quakes, and mountains erode and fall into the sea. No joy in that, surely.
Yet Jesus seems to give creation cause for rejoicing anyway, doesn't he? He joys to feed his people and so the bread multiplies at his command. A few fish become thousands. And two of Jesus' other creatures, ones named Philip and Andrew, stand there staring.
Philip the accountant and Andrew the caterer have their feet firmly planted on the ground. They know the way the world works. It would take years to earn enough money to feed the thousands who are gathered. And no bakery is going to accept the credit of a bunch of wandering peasants. So Philip says, “Two hundred day's wages wouldn't be enough!” He's right, of course, it wouldn't. And the sweat of one man's brow tilling the earth by hand, even for two hundred days, would never grow enough grain.
Now it's Andrew's turn. There's a boy over here with a sack lunch. He's got some bread and some fish. But come on, Jesus... It's one boy's lunch. Even if we share it, there won't be near enough for everyone to have just a morsel, a bite. What is so little among so many?
Philip and Andrew think they know the way the world works. And as we listen to them, we think so too. Of course they can't afford the bread. Of course the cakes and fishes the boy has carried up the mountain aren't enough. They couldn't be. The world doesn't work that way.
But with Jesus, they are enough. With Jesus, they are more than enough. With Jesus, there are twelve baskets full of leftovers. So, beloved, who knows how the world works? The creature, or the creator? What the creature says sure makes a lot of sense to us creatures.
But what we forget... what we forget at our very great peril, is that the world is broken. Buying bread for more than two hundred days wages and not being able to cater a meal with a little boy's lunch, these are the ways of the broken world. They are not the ways of the world Jesus has always wanted for us.
There was no want in Eden. There was no “not enough.” There was no laboring for bread. There was only gift. “Eat as much as you want,” said Jesus. “I'll always give you more.” I will give you all that you need to support this body and life.
Every one that thirsts, come to the waters, and he that has no money; come, buy, and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread? Why do you labor for what does not satisfy? Hearken unto me, and eat that which is good, and let your soul delight in the richest of fair.
But then comes sin. Sin breaks it all. We labor for what does not satisfy. We spend money on that which is not bread. We look at the world that is in bondage to sin, evil, and decay, and we think it's normal. We think that's the way the world works and that's the way the world has always worked and that's the way the world will always work.
There is no feeding of the hungry. There is no sight given to the blind. There is no holding everything in common and restoring creation by sharing the love of Christ, such as happened in our epistle reading. The world's broken, so deal with it.
Repent. Don't believe the lie. Do not give in and believe that the sin stained world defines your reality. Feed the poor. Comfort the afflicted. Trust in your Savior.
Jesus comes to you today and feeds you with His very words. He satisfies you with His body and blood. The world is not as it was, and neither is the world what it will be. The Creator knows it better than the creatures.
So He broke forth into a sinful world, born to die to redeem you. He suffered the consequences of Adam's sin and yours. He bore the chastisement that brought you peace. He took it all to the cross and there He died. You are forgiven.
Cursed is the One who hangs upon a tree and blessed is the one who hungers and thirsts after Him. Christ has restored His image to you. Your baptism has begotten you of His father. And the only begotten son feeds you with Himself.
The bread you receive from the hand of Pr. Weedon today will be the true body of Christ. The wine you receive from the cup will be the true blood of Christ. This is the way the world works under the gracious and merciful will of the Creator.
Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted His people, And will have mercy on His afflicted.
The heavens, the earth, and the mountains have seen the marvelous deeds that God has done to save you, His people. And so the beauty you see in them is a song of praise raised to the throne of heaven.
It is the song they will continue to sing until they too are renewed when Jesus returns to claim you as His own.