Monday, August 3, 2015

+ 10th Sunday after Pentecost – August 2nd, 2015 +

Redeemer Lutheran, HB
Series B, Proper 13: Exodus 16:2-15; Ephesians 4:1-16; John 6:22-35

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I’m going to the store, do you need anything?
Oh yea, some beer, crab legs, and Tillamook chocolate peanut butter ice cream, a few toys, some candy, and a kitty cat.
No. No. No. What do you need?

Needs and wants. As children we learn the difference. As adults we’re probably still learning. There are wants and needs. The want list is long, complicated, and expensive. The need list is pretty basic: food, water, clothes, and shelter.
The crowds following Jesus had the same problem.
They sought after Jesus – not because they saw him as the Bread of Life – but because they wanted more bread.

To the crowds, Jesus is nothing more than a magic genie with a vending machine for a lamp. At the feeding of the 5000 the crowds ate all they wanted and were satisfied. There were leftovers. 12 baskets. And still they wanted more.
They were hungry and yet incapable of satisfying their appetites. They followed Jesus unaware that he is who they needed. They wanted daily bread, but they needed something more: Jesus the Bread of Life.

We’re no different. Jesus is the Bread of Life we need.
Like Old Testament Israel, we grumble in spite of his gift of daily bread. Like the crowds following Jesus, we do not lack bread – God gave that to them freely. No we lack faith in him who is the bread of life – who gives himself for the life of the world. We foolishly think we can find contentment in the things we want rather than the one thing that is most needful: Jesus our Bread of Life.

St. Augustine famously described our spiritual starvation quite well…
Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they finds their rest in Thee.

Like the crowds we are needy. We long for contentment but are incapable of finding it. Our spiritual appetites are starving, O Lord, until we find our satisfaction in Jesus our Bread of Life.
And what does our Lord do, turn us away? Cry out: “no food for you.”? No.
Jesus has compassion. Jesus had the crowds sit down, rest, eat, and listen to him.
Jesus has compassion on you.

Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.
Jesus would have us sit down and stop worrying, stop scheming, stop being so anxious… and simply rest and receive his promises.

Jesus knows our greatest need and gives himself for you. His perfect life lived for you. His dying and rising for you. His own flesh and blood for your forgiveness.
Jesus is the Bread of Life that does not perish. Jesus is the Bread of Life who gives you eternal life. This is why Jesus was anointed - not to be a new Moses; not simply to feed with earthly bread – though he does do that (food, water, shelter, clothing, and more). And above all, Jesus lives, dies, and rises to feed and satisfy our greatest need.

And this is how the crowds responded.  
That’s how we sinners think: God gives a gift and we to make it all about us. How easily we twist God’s gifts into our own work.
But Jesus sets us all straight. It’s not about you; it’s about Jesus for you.

The work of God is that you receive him. It is the work of God that you believe in Jesus, trust in his provision for all our needs of body and soul. It is the work of God that you have faith in his Son, our Lord, Jesus.
Jesus is the Bread of Life we need. And Jesus is the Bread of Life God gives to you.

So today we join the crowds in receiving Jesus our Bread of Life. Where we are faithless, Jesus is faithful. Where we hunger and thirst, Jesus feeds us with his own body and blood. Where we are concerned about our daily needs, Jesus provides.

For we come as beggars and yet Jesus feeds and clothes us.
We are pilgrims who receive sustenance on the journey home.
We are his sheep, and Jesus is our Shepherd.
We are sinners who are forgiven.
Jesus gives you his own flesh and blood as a forgiving food and drink.
Jesus clothes you in his cross and new creation in Holy Baptism.
Jesus shelters you in his own body, the Church.
In Jesus you have everything you need.

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment