Wrestling with Bread

Can be listened to hear

Gate Pa – 23 August 2015
Pentecost 13  or 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings:
Psalm                              Psalm 84                                                                                
First Reading:            1 Kings 8:22-30, 41-43
Second Reading:      Ephesians 6:10-20                              
Gospel:                           John 6:56-69                                       

What I want to say:
When we eat and drink God meets our deepest dears and we learn to live in, abide in life of God
What I want to happen:
people to let go of their fear, and embrace freedom and life of God

The Sermon

      1.     Introduction:

56Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me.”
eat my flesh
drink my blood
What on earth is that about?
How do you respond to this?
How do you make sense of this?
what does it mean for your lives?
invite you to talk to your neighbour – or yourself about that
How do you respond to this?
How do you make sense of this?
what does it mean for your lives?

      2.     Audiences

-         so for the last 5 weeks we have been weaving our way through John 6
-         delving deeper into story around great I am statement “I am bread of Life” –
-         beginning comments:
-         need remember 2 audiences
-         a. Johns community – people wrote gospel for
o   long after events
o   fall of temple
o   expulsion from synagogue
o   persecution
o   too tough
§  some left
§  just as significant number of Jesus followers leave in todays story
o   world become really dark place
o   some wondering whether what future held
§  faith community
§  world
ð kind of reminds of today really
o   John was old
o   help his church community know Christ in the midst of all this
o   encourage them to hang in there
§  help them know that it was all worth it
§  help them trust in God’s goodness, generosity and love
·        despite all evidence to contrary
§  help them continue centre their lives on the Christ
§  continue to trust, be loyal, believe into,
o   encourage us to hang in there
§  help us know that it was all worth it
§  help us trust in God’s goodness, generosity and love
·        despite all evidence to contrary
o   over-riding question though whole gospel - who is Christ?
o   why should I believe into him
o   overriding question of this chapter

      3.     The Bread of life

began 5 weeks ago with …. who can remember
(feeding of 5000 and Jesus walking on water)
these stories were set at….
(Passover)
conversation – once people catch up with him back on the other side
            revolves around Moses
            mana in the wilderness – bread that God gave there
            read somewhere – bread also metaphor for law
John presenting Jesus as greater than Moses
greater spirits stir depths
greater than Law or Moses
In Jesus we live in presence of God the Father – the one who abides in Jesus
so what then do we do with this eat and drink stuff

      4.     Eat and Drink

think first thing John would say is don’t get stuck on the details
look to see where this is pointing
if you take this too literally you will miss the point
so where is this pointing?
Bread and wine were the food of peasant
            of poor
            was their staple
one level clear message that even in this food of poorest – God is found
when we eat and drink even this humble common food of the poorest
            we meet God
            invited to draw God’s life into us
prayer pray when pour water into wine at communion is
            as this water mingles with this wine
            so may your divinity mingle with our humanity
            and your humanity draw us into the life of the Trinity
when come to communion
when pay attention when eating ordinary meals
invited to pay attention
God mingling with our humanity
through Jesus our being drawn into the heart of God
            life of God
            abundance God
            geneoristy of God
            love that is God.

      5.     Fear

Which brings us back to those first hearers
wondering what future held
§  faith community
§  world
I often say
often heard it say
            in Jesus God meets is in our deepest longings and desires
Suggest that John saying
            in Jesus – God meets us in our deepest fears
            things we dread most
            our lives
            our community
            our world
so often driven by what fear,
not what we hope for
Media is built around that
politicians feed off it
            creating things to fear
            trying to convince us that they are ones who can fix it
whether crime
people smugglers
economy
trouble is that the fear continues
John is saying
when we pay attention
when eat bread and drink cup
when mingle with God
then those fears are met
able start living anew – born again
abiding in
            life of God
            abundance God
            generosity of God
            love that is God.
what are your deepest fears?

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