Sunday, April 28, 2013

John 6:53-57

"Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me."
John 6:53-57

This is interesting... and was wildly controversial when Christ said it.  After this it tells us that many of his disciples walked no more with him.  And, yeah, you have to admit that a purely literal interpretation makes it sound a lot like cannibalism / human sacrifice.  Because we have the perspective of time, and verses after this that talk about Christ at the last supper, we understand that God meant the sacrament, the symbolic representation of his body and his blood, so that we can remember the sacrifice that he made for all of us.  As we repent each week, and take the sacrament, we renew our covenant with God that we will take upon us his name, and always remember him.  And he promises in return to bless us with his spirit.  Amazing.
... As for the part that seems scary or off when we first read it, I think that it is a good opportunity to look at our lives and at the things that we might question that God has said.  Maybe they don't make sense at first.  Maybe they sound crazy... but if they are from God, we can be certain that somehow, they work within the gospel.  It reminds me of Camilla Kimball's idea of taking a question, putting it on the shelf, and then as she kept learning more, she would take down each question or problem one by one and understand it better.  When we run into things that we don't understand from God, let's not give up and walk away as so many of the disciples did.  Christ has the "words of eternal life" (verse 68, same chapter).  He *never* gets it wrong.  Let's trust him, talk to him, listen and learn, and give ourselves time to understand God's perspective.

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