Going Deeper 08.06.2021

The Gospel reading for Pentecost 11... John 6:35, 41-51

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. ... Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus answered them, “Do not complain among yourselves. No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."

Bread is the sustenance of life.  In speaking of the meaning of "daily bread" Martin Luther described it as "everything needed for this life."  Without bread, not only will we fail to thrive, we will struggle to survive.  And Jesus is the very "bread of life."  We must come to understand the importance of this.  Without Jesus we die.

The Bread of Life proclaims that "whoever believes has eternal life."  We believe in order to receive.  Lutherans see sacramental references here.  We eat "of this bread" to receive grace, and we come to believe that we "will live forever."  Jesus is a gift from the Father, who sent and sends Jesus to sustain us on our journey through the "wilderness" of this life.

I believe this is one of the reasons it is important to participate regularly in Sunday morning gatherings.  We gather to receive and to celebrate the "bread of life" through the Word and the Meal.  Our need for grace in ongoing.  On need for sustenance for our journey is ongoing.  Elsewhere Jesus will say, "Come to me, all who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest."  We come as the Body of Christ to receive the Body of Christ in order to live as the Body of Christ.

This Bread is the sustenance of life.  Don't try to live without it.

In His Love,

Mark Gabbert, Pastor

Zion Lutheran Church, Wellington

"Gratefully Growing Servants"