Bead of Life

This sermon can be listened to here

Gate Pa – Year B  18th Sunday of Ordinary Time,

Readings:

Psalm                          Psalm 51:1-12            

First Reading:              2 Samuel 11:26 – 12:13                                                                     

Second Reading:         Ephesian 4:1-16                                                                                 

Gospel:                                    John 6:24-35  



What I want to say:

I want to explore how this series of reading help us into the Eucharist



The Sermon


     1.      Introduction:


Every 3 years we have this little interlude from Mark while we walk our way through John 6 – Jesus says “I am bread of life”

terrible trap for young preachers

danger use all our great ideas on week 1

-          find have another 3 weeks to go (aue)

I’m not preaching for next 2 weeks so here goes



      2.      History cf theology


what lectionary writers done is jump out Mark after story Herod’s depraved meal and John baptiser’s death

-          followed by and contrasted with feeding of 5000 men

-          meal of generosity, compassion for those impoverished by those gathered with Herod

instead taken to Johns version of that story

fine if gospels just stories of history

-          swap and change with little problem

-          not great if we read them as books theology – which they are really

รจ John not contrasting two meals

-          John introducing first of Jesus’ “I am” statements

this is first of 7 I Am statements

function as signposts to how John gospel writer thinks we should understand Jesus

through Jesus – how understand God father

John’s theology is hung over these 7 statements



      3.      The Story


Jesus feeds big bunch of people

leaves

crowd wake up in morning and see he has left

so they go hunting for him in Capernaum

find him ask – “Rabbi, when did you come here?”

loaded with meaning

not – which bus did you catch kind of question

-          when we read it like that Jesus response makes no sense

it is more a “who are you?” kind of question

 -response makes lot more sense with that understanding

rest answer is in response to that “who are you that you can feed us all?” kind of meaning

Jesus says – you are looking for me and asking this question because I fed you

don’t work for the food that perishes but “food of that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you”

little more conversation around that until they ask

‘What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, “He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”

which given he has just fed them all seems little rude

until remember 2 things

a.      these all peasants – work each day either making bread or earning enough to buy bread

-          imagine what being given bread each day would do for their economic situation – wow!

b.      one metaphors for law of Moses is bread from heaven

-          this could be implied in Jesus response

‘Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’

-          They said to him, ‘Sir, give us this bread always.’

-          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.  



     4.      These statements are signs – they are not the point!


important but not the point

read with rest gospel see how John is answering the big question – the one crowd ask

“who is Jesus”

is one through whom we know god

one in whom we find life

life based on God’s compassion and generosity

-          especially for poor

life based on justice

when people anchor lives on this

then creation renewed

humanity restored



     5.      Eucharist


-          each week reminded of this when we eat bread offered on table

-          we are also reminded of meals Jesus offered to both 5000+ and 4000+

-          and all times broke rule and ate with sinners,

o   outcasts

o   tax collectors

o   widows and orphans

eat bread of life is to be immersed in Gods way

to be fed with compassion, generosity, justice, love of god

not for our sake

sake all we meet

all struggle with

all welcome at table

come knowing that doing so may change your life

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