November 26 | John 6:47-59
DAILY READING: John 6:47-59
Is There Life Within You? by Pastor Jeff Morlock
Is there Life within you? Life with a "capital L"? Think about breath-taking experiences you’ve had. Experiences that came, not because you accomplished something, but because you felt connected to something larger than yourself. When was the last time you took a bite of life and it tasted so good you wanted more? That’s the life Jesus is talking about. And I wonder if that’s the life you're living today.
Is there Life within you? Sadly it’s the religious folks in the passage who are most resistant to the Bread of Life who is Jesus; the bread of grace, love, and mercy; the bread of union, reconciliation, and forgiveness. "Your ancestors ate manna and died," Jesus said, "but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever” (v. 58b). Yet their history limited their understanding and shrunk their perspective. I wonder how often that happens to us today. How often have you used the past to limit or control Jesus in the present, not to mention others… or even yourself? Maybe it’s our history of things done or left undone, said or left unsaid, that prevents us from eating the Bread of Life. Perhaps it’s a particular lens we look through in order to understand the world – a way of thinking, believing, and seeing, that prevents us from eating the Bread. And after a while, this lens, this history, says to us there is no other bread than the bread of the same old guilt, regret, grumbling, and pretend certitude that has been our diet in the wilderness all along. All of those histories are grounded in our separation from God. Grounded in sin. But that’s hardly the end of the story. St Gregory of Nyssa says, “The bread of life is the antidote for having eaten the forbidden fruit.” This bread releases us from the remorse of the past. To eat the bread of life is to seek a knowledge of Jesus, and that overcomes our messy histories. It is a knowledge that cleanses our hearts, even as it makes them new. A knowledge based on loving relationship.
Christ delights to present himself in things that are common and ordinary. Like bread. He comes to us in simple acts of hearing and eating. “This is my body given for you.” Every time we see as he sees, think as he thinks, act as he acts, love as he loves – we can be sure we have feasted on the bread of life and tasted life eternal.
Read the passage again using the "TRIP" method of prayer. T - For what does this reading prompt me to be THANKFUL? R - Is there anything here for which I need to REPENT? I - For whom or what does this passage prompt me to INTERCEDE? P - How is God calling me to respond to this word? What is my PLAN?