Pastor Jana started the sermon series “Lessons from the Toy Box” using the connection with the popular children’s toy LEGO and its interlocking bricks to illustrate our connectivity to God, to one another and to the world. She based her text on John 6:26-35.
We can say that the message from today’s scripture is Jesus saying that the people who have a relationship with Him shall never hunger or thirst. They will receive real time bread from Heaven, for example, through hunger as shown in the abundant food given to the hungry multitude or through thirst, as illustrated in the story of the water given to the Samaritan woman at the well. After Jesus fed 5,000 people with only five loaves of bread and two fishes, the people kept coming back, hungry for more of His teachings – for a relationship with God and with each other. When Jesus told the Samaritan woman that He will give them Living Water and they will never be thirsty again, the people kept coming to see Jesus, the Giver of Living Water.
The people of God have received great gifts, one of them being the gift of connecting with God as well as with brothers and sisters in Christ. The Holy Communion is one such amazing gift. A real present that we can touch and be nourished by the Bread of Heaven – the bread of life – and the Cup of Salvation. This is an opportunity to align ourselves with God, connect with everything Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. At the Communion Rail, as a family in Christ, we share the Supper side by side with our own family as well as with our extended family at PUMC, connected through Christ as brothers and sisters, shoulder to shoulder. We come to Jesus’ table hungry and thirsty and open our hearts to God who alone supplies our needs.
Jesus desires to have personal connection and personal relationship with each and everyone of us – from the youngest to the oldest, from someone who has worked with Jesus to someone who has been away from Him for a long time. This is the salvation that only Christ offers. Jesus is the Bread of Life who has come to give life to the church of God, for our relationship with God is the foundation of everything that we do.
The Lego toy and its building bricks can be seen as a great analogy for what it means to build a big church. A Lego creation starts with one single brick to which we keep connecting more and more bricks, one connection at a time. Lego bricks are at their best when we see the whole structure rather than the individual bricks. The higher we can build the better. Yet, Lego bricks don’t form with each other just by chance. They are all different types, yet each individual piece is interconnected with other pieces. Similarly individuals are designed to be interconnected. Our relationship with the Church starts with our connection with Christ and that lays the foundation we can build on, with God above and our brothers and sisters below. As all Lego bricks are compatible with each other, so here at UMC as well within the Church Universal, we have our DNA as christians and part of our connectivity comes from our gift of compatibility.
How compatible are we to connect with each other given that we are all different from each other? God made us to be compatible to be able to fit together and connect, for He said we are all one: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”. Legos therefore bring to mind how we connect to God at the top, and to each other at the bottom. True life, abundant life begins with connection, connection with Christ first and foremost, connection with other brothers and sisters, connection with the church at UMC and of course, connection with the world.
Lego is a timeless toy to be created into something new every time. So also, we as humans have the ability to be created into something new and excited every day. Lego therefore reminds us of our connectivity, new relationship and new life. The question now is, are we willing to connect at the rail? Are we open to be made into a new creation in our minds? Let us therefore find a way in the Church to bring love and hope to those in need and to strengthen relationships with Christ and the world as we connect. We must also take time to give thanks to God for the people we are connected to. As we come for Communion, may each of us use our time with God to discern how we can build on our connectivity with God, each other and the world.
Written by Isabella Dougan