Friday, August 7, 2015

Pentecost 11 B - John 6:35, 41-51

John 6:35; 41-51
“Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know?” It is a legitimate question for those in the crowd “who knew Jesus when” even if they have followed him across the lake expecting to see something more. Of course they didn’t ask any questions when the meager meal was multiplied into a feast for five thousand plus (and twelve doggie bags besides). Everyone likes a magic trick and even if you ask to see it again (but more slowly) you can suspend disbelief for the thrill of the illusion or in this case your fill of fish sandwiches. But when the magician claims a higher status than “watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat – presto - oops wrong hat!”” (Bullwinkle Moose) objections soon follow. After all a good trick accomplished with mirrors is one thing; claiming to be the trick is quite another. “I am the bread of life come down from heaven” is a bigger trick than the crowd can believe or even understand. But then are we any different? We live comfortably within the confines of our religious systems that determine WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) on the basis of personal preference or denominational bias or desire to demonize whoever is not like us. Is it any wonder the world has wearied of the Christian trick and has determined we follow Jesus to feed our belly or ease our conscience or maintain the status quo? But there are moments when we are so captured by the mystery of the bread of life from heaven that we change the way we distribute that bread in the world. Since Jesus claims to reflect the will of the One he calls the Father then God the Father is no different from God the Son and “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do (even though they seemed to know exactly what they were doing) is a bigger deal than feeding five thousand with a few loaves and a couple fish.

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