Not for sale

John 6:24-35

Now remember we are abiding again in John this week about the miracle of the loaves and the fishes feeding from last week. This weeks the crowds want more. They want to be fed until they are full again, so they are following where Jesus goes. Just like John 4, with the woman at the well, they misunderstand what Jesus has to offer. The woman at the well thinks Jesus can only offer more water from the well, although she doesn't understand how since the well is deep and he doesn't have a bucket. Then Jesus tells hear about her life and she believes.

He is not doing this with the crowd. What he offers instead is an explanation of belief and that the true bread is standing right in front of them. They insist on some type of sign to believe and Jesus won't do it. Instead of surrendering to what the crowd demands Jesus breaks into Spirit talk. In John Spirit talk comes usually right after Jesus says, "very truly" or "truly, truly" or "verily, verily" depending on your translation. He tells them that off they believe they will receive the bread that brings life to the world.

Jesus refuses to settle for an easy, crowd-pleasing example. He is not a side-show he is trying to get the crowd to a deeper truth and since we have more weeks to come of this, us also. As I said last week we have to abide with the text in order to understand this more fully. It is not like this past weeks Vacation Bible School where we taught about not bullying, and recognizing roles, those are all concrete things. This teaching about life-giving bread is something we live, something deep down in all of us.

Being fed is something we can't put tangible words to and it gives us strength to go out and do what we need to do. It is like Presiding Bishop Elect Michael Curry's suggestion that we need some crazy Christians. In order to be crazy Christians we need to be sustained and fed by the bread of life. There are all sorts of ways which this happens. In taking time to commune with God, abiding. Walking in nature, or singing together, or working on a project, or working with others. We can be fed by these.

When the world drops away and we realize we stand on holy ground. When we are overcome by an encounter and realize we have been gifted with something we can't describe. When we kneel at the altar and accept the bread and wine, but it seems we are receiving more than that and we are connected to more than that, we are fed. We can only experience these things if we take time to see it. Our world is so concerned with rushing about for the next newest thing we sometimes lose sight that old things can bring us what we so need and yearn for. The connection to more than ourselves, the place we will always be fed, so we receive that life-giving bread and are sustained for the faith journey ahead.