Weekly Reflections 8-5-2015

Texts for Sunday August 9: 
1 Kings 19:4-8 
Psalm 34:1-8 
Ephesians 4:25-5:2
John 6:35, 41-51

We are in the 3rd week of the 5 weeks this summer that Gospel lessons come from the 6th chapter of John. That one chapter includes 2 miracles (feeding 5000 and walking on water), dialogues/confrontations with disciples and crowd, and Jesus’ teaching discourse about being the Bread of Life. So keep that whole picture in mind when you read this portion.

Miracles (called “signs”), dialog, confrontation, and “discourses”, spread throughout the first half of John, serve as the structure on which the author develops this gospel. Theology and story come together in this structure to say that God is revealed in Jesus. If you don’t understand that the Gospel of John is about God, you’ve missed the point.

I must say that sometimes it is easy to get bogged down reading the discourses which can seem redundant. Put another way, sometimes my eyes glaze over when I read them and wish that Jesus would just get on with it. But there are things to reflect upon so reflect we shall….

This week the religious leaders dismissed Jesus’ claim to be bread from heaven because he was just Joseph and Mary’s son. "We know him, how can he say these things about himself? He didn’t come from heaven, he came from over there. He is just a common person.”  

Well, yes. 
The word for that is “incarnation” (putting on carne…meat/flesh).  Jesus is an ordinary human being and that is the point.

In Lutheran understanding, bread and wine and water – ordinary stuff - joins with God’s word to become ways that God bestows grace upon us. Check out Our Center in About Us above. 

Jesus is the Word from the beginning who was with God; who was God, the Word that became flesh and lived among us (John 1:1, 14).  Word has joined flesh and brings God’s immeasurable grace. Don’t dismiss this, or let your eyes glaze over: this is important; this is grace.

Here's the text.

35 Jesus said to [the crowd,] “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty... 41 Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 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’?” 43 Jesus answered….. them, “Do not complain among yourselves. 44 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. 45 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. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 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.”

Check out the G.I.F.T. post for this Sunday, August 9, for more ways to reflect on these verses.

How to Find Us

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City

Gathered by grace. Scattered for service.

123 E Market Street
Iowa City, IA 52245