The choice remains ours. Do we seek to be the body and blood of Christ or do continue to pretend we don’t know why our congregations are getting smaller and smaller? Jesus went where the vulnerable people were. We expend so much effort to keep our buildings and our worship exactly as they have been in the memory of our oldest members. What has this got to do with being bread for the hungry and forgiveness for the broken?
Jesus said some weird stuff and the end of John 6 is the top of the list. Here Jesus talks about eating his flesh and drinking his blood to gain eternal life. It’s baffling even when we don’t take scripture literally. It’s hard to know what Jesus really intended here. Yes, it can be a foreshadowing of the Passover meal to come. Yet, I think he meant more than the eucharistic sharing of bread and cup. I suspect that all this weirdness about eating flesh and drinking blood has to do with how we live, a metaphor for embodying all that Jesus did and taught. Is this any less weird? Maybe not…
And I remember the alternative translation for this passage with the implied predicate nominative: I AM is the bread of life. God is the one who will satisfy. The Divine within Jesus. The Logos, the Sophia, the Spirit. All this and more. If I manage to take this in, this Divine, I might have something that is more fulfilling than fresh baked bread.
When I was very young I thought God was the “man in the moon.” I had heard people talking about the moon having a face and referring to it as the “man in the moon.” I don’t think I’ve ever been able to make out the face that is supposedly visible in profile on the … Read More
Many years ago while I was in my first call, I had the privilege of teaching the Sunday School children what communion meant. About 100 children from the age three or four through age fifteen or so gathered in the social hall while the adults worshiped in the sanctuary. I went through each part of … Read More
One of the first times my beliefs entered into the “real” world happened when I was fourteen. It was a rainy afternoon and I was babysitting in a new place. While the little girl slept, someone knocked on the condo door. I opened it to two young men who identified themselves as Jehovah’s Witnesses. I … Read More
“Live a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called,” writes the author of Ephesians. I can’t help but wonder if we have all forgotten that we are supposed to be living a life worthy of the love and grace we have been given. I don’t see much evidence of people striving … Read More
“I am not that kind of a Christian!” She insisted. Others soon joined in. A whole group of people identified themselves as Christian, but not that kind. They go on to declare a whole list of things they don’t do and don’t believe. I nod with sympathy and understanding. I get it. I understand what … Read More
Welcome. Inclusion. Hospitality. These are all church words, words we try to embody to the best of our ability. Yet, not everyone feels welcomed. Not everyone experiences inclusion. Not everyone receives hospitality. There are limits to our being church, aren’t there? We aren’t perfect and we sometimes get it wrong. True. However, what about that … Read More
This week John’s gospel gets weird. As one colleague pointed out, Jesus says something that will make the adolescents in and among us giggle. Beyond that, though, is the question of just what exactly is happening here. Surely, Jesus didn’t just say that! Taking a closer look means asking what Jesus really meant when he … Read More