Dear Friends –
I still get overwhelmed at the grocery store. By aisle upon aisle of food. And stuff. So much stuff.
Take the bread aisle. White bread. Wheat bread. French bread. Rye bread. Sourdough bread. Dave’s Killer bread. And like 17 varieties of each. And Kalamata olive bread. And gluten free bread. And Hamburger buns, hot dog buns, tortillas, flat bread, naan, focaccia. I’m sure I’m missing some more! SO. MUCH. BREAD.
When Jesus says, I am the Bread of life, I think it falls a little flat on our ears. Big deal. Most of us are not desperate for bread. We have choices. Many of us are going with a more low carb diet, trying to cut out bread! Bread? Ho hum.
But for the crowd that followed Jesus, bread was a basic ingredient of life, an essential, the essence of survival. When Jesus said, “I am the Bread of life” he meant “I am what you need to survive, to really live. Forever.” We sorta tune out, but they were all ears. “Give us this bread!” they say.
Well, up to a point, at least…
This week in the text from John 6:51-58, Jesus says, “The bread that I give for the life of the world is my flesh” (verse 51), and “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you” (verse 54). Jesus pretty much stays in this flesh and blood mode for this entire passage. Enough to cause some tension. With these graphic words he’s starting to lose them.
I admit, it does sound a bit weird, doesn’t it? There’s a definite “ew” factor here. So what is Jesus talking about? Or, maybe more importantly, what is Jesus promising us, or what is Jesus inviting us to?
Looking forward to sharing the good news with you in worship! Bring your appetite!
Grace and peace,