Good afternoon. Happy Saturday!

I'm over at churchy working on the sermon for tomorrow. At the beginning of the week, I didn't love the gospel lesson. In fact, I didn't like it very much at all. And then, as the week progressed, I fell in love with it! This keeps happening. I start out the week thinking, "Oh no! Another weird Bible passage." And at the end the week, I'm thinking, "Yipee! What a great lesson."

The gospel text is: John 6:56-69

Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live for ever.’ He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.

When many of his disciples heard it, they said, ‘This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?’ But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, ‘Does this offend you? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But among you there are some who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. And he said, ‘For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.’

Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, ‘Do you also wish to go away?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.’

There are a number of things that I love. Here are a few thoughts - that I don't mention in the sermon but just want to mention now because I think Jesus is groovy.

1) I love that the disciples so honestly say, "This teaching is difficult." It gives us the freedom to say the same. Because the truth is, Jesus is a difficult teacher. He's always trying to get us to love people and be compassionate. He's always telling us to love our crazy neighbors.

2) I love that Jesus says, "Does this offend you?" Basically he's saying, "Oops. Is this too much for you?" I guess I just like Jesus when it he isn't being all rainbows & sugar-coated lollipops. He's so real and raw sometimes.

3) I really like that Jesus is so unconventional in his teaching style. Talking about eating flesh and drinking blood. Yes, that is gross. But that isn't really the point. Well, maybe it is - he knows how to get the attention of a crowd. He wants his listeners to realize how CLOSE he wants to be to them - as close as the food they eat. Jesus stretches people's imaginations and their limits. In a world with so many distractions - so many places to put our focus - I wonder what kind of teaching style he'd use today.

1 comment:

  1. Emily I"ve really enjoyed your reflections - thank you for sharing. I want to come hear you preach sometime so we'll have to connect!!!