July 29 – Ninth after Pentecost

July 29 – Ninth after Pentecost


2 Samuel 11:1–15

David and Bathsheba.


Psalm 14 (VU p. 735)

Fools say, “There is no God.”


Ephesians 3:14–21

God’s power accomplishes more than we can ask for or imagine.


John 6:1–21

Jesus feeds the multitude and walks on water.


Provide everyone with a cut-out crown. You may choose to have everyone decorate their crowns at home or during the service. During a prayer time in the service, invite everyone to think about the kind of power they have. We all have power and we use it in different ways. Have people write inside the crown how they can use their power for good in the world—doing what God calls us to do. You might then pray that God will be with us as we use our power, helping us to make wise decisions.

Theme Engagement Question

When have you used your own sense of power to achieve something—good or bad? When have you felt powerless in the face of another person wielding their power? How does your sense of God help you to use your power well?

With Children

Bring a crown to wear as you gather with the children. Let each child take a turn wearing the crown (and perhaps even sitting on a “throne” you have created) and ask them what they would do if they were queen/king/prime minister for the day—if they had the power to make anything happen for the world.


When everyone has had a turn, ask the children what they think Jesus would do if he were wearing the crown. How would he use this power? Talk about the story of Jesus feeding the crowd as an example of how Jesus used his power. Close with the statement from Ephesians 3 that God’s power can help us do so much more than we can imagine.

Sermon Starter

In this famous story of David and Bathsheba, David uses his power to get what he wants. We don’t know what Bathsheba wanted. David’s is the only voice we hear. Did he bother to ask? He also has a man killed in order to get what he wants and to cover up his indiscretions. David uses his power to harm others.


In the story of Jesus feeding the multitude, Jesus does not use his power to create a grand spectacle of what he can do. He quietly encourages others to share in this power. Everyone has a kind of power. How do we use our power?

Remember that the story of David and Bathsheba is one of the disturbing stories of scripture. David, who so seriously abuses his power in the situation with Bathsheba, is still remembered as a great king of Israel. For those who have been abused or raped, this story may just confirm the abuse of power that they experienced and cause deeper pain. You may wish to speak about the way that the United Church seeks to address issues of abuse and misuse of power by those in authority.


Hebrew Scripture

VU 307            “Touch the earth lightly”

VU 610            “God remembers pain”

VU 658            “O Love that wilt not let me go”

MV 78             “God weeps”



VU 574            “Come, let us sing of a wonderful love”



VU 221            “Sing praise to God, who has shaped”

VU 222            “Come, let us sing”



VU 355            “For the crowd of thousands”

VU 467            “One bread, one body”

VU 478            “You satisfy the hungry heart”

MV 194           “Bread of life, feed my soul”