Church Stuff-More or less

Does the church make sense or do we make it too hard for people to come in? I think yes and yes and the task then is to make it easier. Maybe for someone out there, this will be the case. I write as a Lutheran (or, perhaps a Lutherpalian) although I might seem out of the mainstream from time to time. That's okay, isn't it? Let's blog on.

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Location: Northport, Long Island, United States

Contrary to what Google will tell you, I have been blogging for several year, right here. Look for Churchstuff-moreorless. life was a hell of a lot easier when you could talk to someone to get help. Now, you can't do it on the telephone, you can't do it on the internet. Life was easier and made more sense because people actually cared. Now they will screw you as quickly as they will help you. Unfuck the world.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Growing Deep in God's Word

Here is my current contribution to the devotional blog at Growing Deeper in God's Word, a ministry of Epiphany Lutheran Church in Dale City, Virginia:

John 6:35, 41-51 Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 41 Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven.’ 42They were saying, ‘Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, “I have come down from heaven”?’ 43Jesus answered them, ‘Do not complain among yourselves. 44No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. 45It is written in the prophets, “And they shall all be taught by God.” Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. 46Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48I am the bread of life. 49Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.’

When they were hungry in the wilderness, starving even, bread came down from heaven. They believed Moses when he told them what it was and they ate it. Thousands of years later, Bread again came down from heaven but this time they were not so trusting. They did not believe Jesus even though they probably knew him better than Moses. I guess that, sometimes, familiarity does breed contempt. That was their loss.

Weekly, bread still comes to us from heaven, not fluffy white manna but real flesh, flesh and blood to feed us today, even unto everlasting life. Manna bread gave the Israelites strength for the journey out of wilderness yet, sooner or later, they all died. Jesus bread gives us strength for our journeys but, though we die, it feeds us forever.

Bread, Jesus bread, strengthens us that we might be his body to a hungry and aching world. Just as Jesus feeds us with himself, we are to feed others as he would have us. Having been strengthened again by him, may you go out into the world and find those who still hunger. Greet them, welcome them, feed them, and bring them in. It is still a wilderness.

Heavenly Father, you sent down from heaven your only begotten son Jesus to be, by his offering of himself, bread and life for the world. You call us to be imitators of you by offering ourselves prayerfully in love to you and our brothers and sisters. Help us to grow in our vision and our understanding of becoming a fragrant offering. Feed us always with the bread of life. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before you can grow deep in Gods word, the word that you study HAS to be directly written or spoken by the Living God--straight from the horses mouth as it were.

And it has to be very much about the present time living-breathing Reality, because there is always only the present Reality--the Radiant Fullness of The Divine Presence.

9:51 PM  

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