Three weeks of “bread” gospels makes one wonder what to preach on tomorrow. Karyn Wiseman has some thoughts at Huffington Post:
Sometimes when I read a biblical text, it makes almost perfect sense to me. Other times, the author’s intent seems fairly obvious so I get a good feeling about what I am reading.
When I read the lectionary passage from the Gospel of John for this week, I scratched my head. This week’s text is the third of the “bread passages” in our lectionary cycle. There is a lot of bread this summer. And it’s about now that many preachers and congregants start asking, “Bread, again?”
Is what Jesus offers such a fantastic feast that we go away feeling like we never need to eat again? Is it such an astonishing spiritual feast that we are fed by that gift continually from that time on? Is it a recurring need to reconnect to Christ to feel fed again and again? Or does that need vanish? What does this feel like?
What does it mean to feast on Jesus? Or to feast on the word — to take in the words of faith and to make them part of one’s daily life and nourishment? What does it look like to be transformed by the Word of the Lord?
These are the questions that pop into my mind as I think about this week’s text. And then I think about my Granddad.
I am reminded of the times I have been at the table of Holy Communion receiving the bread and cup and was moved in such astonishing ways. One Sunday I was serving communion to my son, who was about 4 at the time. I offered him the bread, saying, “This is the bread of life,” and he looked up at me and said, “I want a BIG piece of Jesus.” He knew this was a feast. He was asking for what all of us have a hard time finding the words to request — more. More God, spiritual nourishment, connections to the Holy, hope, abundance, being part of the Body of Christ, bread that keeps us from hungering and belief that keeps us from thirsting.
When we go away hungry, according to my grandpa, it’s our own fault. So what stops us?
Sometimes circumstances try to block us from receiving and we have to do everything we can to overcome those obstacles to get to the gift. Sometimes it is the feeling that we are not worthy. This is a common misconception. Many mistakenly believe that they are too flawed to receive the bread of life and the cup of hope.
Well, my Granddad and my son taught me something powerful about that. The feast is there, I’m invited, and I am worthy to receive the abundance of God’s love and grace. We all are invited. We all are worthy.
We have to open ourselves to receive the gift. We have to make the effort to come to the table. We have to believe in the power of the meal, the cup and the Word. We have to believe we are worthy of the feast.
I have finally learned that I am worthy.
And so are you, my friends. So are you.