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It’s what we do! Part 2 John 6

From pulpit, The Eucharist,

Plus: God the Father Day.

Last week I found myself reviewing a video of a TV show I preached about at Christmas time. Remember my talking about God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit up in heaven’s living room. The episode was called Jesus BC. Get it? Jesus, before he became Jesus. Up in heaven, with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, from all eternity?

The episode ended with the Son of God coming down to earth and becoming one of us. The Son of Man. The Incarnation, and thus its appropriateness for Christmas. But the story began with the Father, by himself, looking out his picture window into space. And off in the distance, the big blue marble, planet earth, us. And guess what he’s doing. He waving his hands as if conducting a symphony. How neat. God the Father portrayed as conductor of the Universe, but not just the conductor, but also the composer of the great symphony of all creation. And it really looked as if he was enjoying himself.

I thought that was very clever of the TV shows director to do that. As I reflected on that opening scene, I could imagine the world and all of its resources as the instruments, and we, the people, as the musicians.( Kind of like today seeing that we don’t have an organ or piano accompanist. You’re it. )

But we are the ones who in our many roles play the instruments, and thus we are creative under the direction of the great conductor who orchestrates our world and all that happens here. Obviously a very big job, a big responsibility in attempting to get everyone to play their best, to play correctly and in unison. In Harmony.

.>>>For those of you who have been around here for a while, you know that I have used the first Sunday of August to preach about the father. I won’t go into an explanation as to why here but I did give a brief explanation in the bulletin today. Check it out there. But I thought that our gospel reading from John Chapter 6 today might fit in with God the Father and his role in our discussion about the Eucharist.

Today, Jesus is talking about BC. That is “Before Christ”. Before his coming into the world to become our savior by dying on the cross, He is with the Father and the Holy Spirit in heaven and they, as a Trinity, were composing and directing the symphony. Last week we talked about the Passover Meal and the feeding of the multitude. That could be described as the first movement. Today’s reading, the second movement.

Jesus speaks about the Father providing physical food to sustain the Hebrews as they cross the barren desert. In the morning it was manna and in the evening quail. As for the manna, It apparently wasn’t much. And they didn’t seem very impressed. Something they said looked like hoarfrost. No condiments, No salt and pepper to give a little taste. Just basic food for the journey.

But Jesus is about to offer a comparison, by responding to their memory of the manna they received from heaven so many years earlier. “Your fathers ate manna in the desert, but I am the living bread come down from heaven”. That is very important statement. We should not take it lightly. So maybe we should take a closer look.

“I Am” is an affirmation that he is God, like his father. Who introduced himself to Moses at the burning bush on Mt Sinai, when he said, I am who am.

Next, I am…. living bread. Not just any `ole bread but “living bread”. Earthly bread made from wheat, water, and yeast, a staple, which sustains us physically, and that’s important, but there is also a spiritual bread that is offered to sustain our spirits. God nourishes us by offering himself as spiritual food.

And what does Jesus say about it. “Don’t labor for food that perishes, But for food that endures to eternal life.” Food he said he would give us.

Some other passages might be mentioned here. How about the verse from the Lord’s prayer. “Give us this day, our daily bread”. That can mean both physical and spiritual food.

And how about, “ man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” And Jesus is the Word. We consume Jesus, the Word, as our spiritual sustenance.

The implication of Jesus words is that God the Father has given us a great gift. He has thrown party and provided the main course. He has sent his son to be our food.

Now I don’t want to get ahead of myself because we still have 3 more weeks of john’s gospel, but this idea of Jesus as our food has always been controversial. Yes, right from the very beginning. Up till now He was speaking kind of poetically and the maybe the people he was talking to were getting warm fuzzy feelings about all this. “Give us this bread always”, they say.

He says, “I am the bread of life, he who comes to me will never hunger. He who believes in me will never thirst.” Not bad. Sounds good. Has a nice ring to it.

But that would soon change. In the next breath he would say something that was the equivalent to a slap in the face. A wake up call. Words that would reverberate down through the years. Jesus would throw the proverbial monkey wrench into the works.

What does he say? Well you will have to wait for next week. Suffice to say that God knew it would be problematic so he has provided for some more “movements” in his symphony down through the years. They are called Eucharistic Miracles and so we will definitely want to talk about them too. They have bolstered the faith of many who have struggled with this idea of Jesus present in bread and wine. Our spiritual food and drink.

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