I am...

John 6:51-58

Here we are again in the fourth week of Jesus trying to get people to understand the deeper meaning of this bread which comes from heaven and gives life to the world. Some commentators have moved onto another part of the scripture reading, leaving John behind. Abide, Jesus actually uses the word in this part of the reading.

If we are really honest with ourselves how much do we understand plodding through this again. Doesn't it just sound the same? Jesus is the bread that gives eternal life. It gets real specific, my flesh and my blood and we say yuck. Think about it, you eat Jesus' real flesh and blood to have life eternal. People have grappled with this for years. The Romans killed early Christians because they thought they were really eating and drinking someone's blood. When Protestantism started the argument started about whether communion was a remembrance of the last supper or whether it turned into Jesus' real body and blood which narrows everything right down again. Jesus is fighting to keep this broad, open, and if we abide in it we might see that instead of narrowing it down to formularies of what it really is.

We still see traces in the text taking us to Moses and the Hebrews in the wilderness. They complain and Jesus tries to feed them with understanding with something deeper, with something everlasting. When they don't understand again he breaks into Spirit talk-Very truly unless you eat and drink you have no life within you.

There was a girl crying outside of a youth event, the youth missioner went to her and found she was upset because she was left out of so many things. At school she was left out and then she would come to youth events and she couldn't receive communion. When the missioner told her she could because the bishop supported an open table the tears subsided, she joined her friends, and she received her first communion, community. It meant so much not to be shut out of the community, she wanted to be united with everyone else. It gave her back her life because being included at that age means everything, it was her life then.

Today I want us to abide in that. What about eating and drinking, of sharing at table feeds you? Is there a mystery that opens to you? Are there more questions? Can you abide still in trying to understand this section? Take it in, sit with it, think of all the times you've eaten and drank, broke bread shared, how have you been fed?