like this on Facebook

Sunday, January 2, 2011

choose.

We have this friend we've met (you know who you are) and he's so wise and real and he's a teacher, so we went to his church this morning to hear him teach.  I've been mulling over a good post for the New Year, since all we did was order pizza with dear friends (you know who you are) and had a New Year's brunch with other dear friends (you do too) and nothing really profound came up, just lots of yummy conversation and the general din of children playing happily with friends they haven't seen in awhile.  Then sitting in church this morning I was handed this perfect New Year's gift from this wise, real teacher.  If you have a Bible, read John 6.  If you don't, email me and I'll send you one and count it my honor.
I've read the New Testament many times and never seen this part, really.  John 6 tells of the words of Jesus in the aftermath of feeding the five thousand.  People start to question him and what it means to follow him and he begins to tell them this crazy stuff about being the bread and the life and how hard it will be to follow him.  I mean crazy stuff that only Jesus could think up but that is true, cause it's Jesus, but it's still sort of crazy, about eating his flesh and drinking his blood and they don't understand.  Don't understand this blind, naked faith that Jesus is calling them to that says even if things seem crazy and don't make sense and will cost you dear, it is the way to forever life.  The only way to forever life.  This is how they respond:
vs 66 "From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him."
They up and left.  Got scared and left.
All except the twelve.
They still sat there and so Jesus says to them, "You do not want to leave too, do you?"
And here's the best part.  The. Best. Part.
"Simon Peter answered him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.  We believe and know that you are the Son of God.'"
Lord, to whom shall we go?  Like, are you serious?  Without you, we've got nothing.  You are everything that is good and pure and we are nothing without you.  We don't care what it costs, how much we have to suffer, what we have to give up.  We are nothing without you.
I've spent lots of time in the desert.  Times when it hurt to love Jesus (and lots of time when I didn't love him well), when I was terrified and anxious and stuck in this deep dark mire of my own making.  I've spent lots of time thinking God didn't make sense, that he asked too much and gave too little, that I'd never figure this faith stuff out.  And then at some point, if you're the most blessed person in the world (and you're all invited to be) you just totally let go and fall.  And when you don't hit bottom, when it's soft and warm instead of hard and full of hurt, you realize you've just fallen off the edge of yourself and smack dab into the arms of the only savior who offers everything for nothing more than letting go.  That this bread-of-life-only-way-to-forever-alive Jesus has saved you.
So, this is the challenge that the teacher this morning asked and I'm passing it on to you because it's marrow and you're starving, if you'll only admit it.  I am.  Starving and admitting it.  Will you leave because you don't fully understand and it seems like it might cost too much to stay?  Or will you stand up and join Simon Peter in saying, "Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.  We believe and know that you are the Son of God."  Please say you'll stand.

8 comments:

  1. sounds like i need to give this sermon a listen. but i also like your way of summing it up. thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just talked to your sister last night. And between the 2 of you, I'm ready to stand. Thanks for the words of TRUTH.

    ReplyDelete
  3. about eating his flesh and drinking his blood and they don't understand. Don't understand this blind, naked faith that Jesus is calling them to that says even if things seem crazy and don't make sense and will cost you dear, it is the way to forever life. The only way to forever life.

    So how does one eat His Flesh and Drink His Blood? Did Jesus mean this figurativly or did He really mean this is the way to live forever?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Here's what I think, not knowing it all, but hoping I get this right: We do this symbolically through communion, the bread being his body and the wine being his blood. It's a reminder that Jesus gave his body and his blood on the cross when he died to save us from a hopeless eternity. The price he paid for eternal life for us was everything. The price we pay is faith that God is who he says he is and that Jesus is his son and that we've only to believe that with all that we are and we get the gift.
    That's what I believe, but I'm going to defer to my dad, who is much more knowledgable and wise and a pretty good communicator to boot. I'm going to ask him to comment with his thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous and anyone else who might be interested or searching for answers. I don't want to push any one church over another, but the teaching we heard this past Sunday obviously touched a nerve with me and others who have read my response to it. Therefor, I am pasting the link to the website where you can listen for yourself and hear it from this wise teacher how the blood and body influences our faith.
    http://www.calvarygr.com/sermons
    m

    ReplyDelete
  6. My daughter is always right.At least publicly.Protestants believe as Megan explained. Catholics however believe the bread and the wine in communion literally transforms into the body and blood of Jesus at the moment it's taken into our bodies.While I don't believe that, they take literally Christs words in John 6:53-58 and don't believe he's speaking figuratively.

    In any case,no matter what one believes we don't gain or lose our salvation through communion.
    Clare De Graaf, proud father of Megan



















    i

    ReplyDelete
  7. See? This is why I deferred to him. Why I'll probably always defer to him.
    m (proud daughter of Clare)

    ReplyDelete