Rev’d Laurie Hopping
John Chapter 6 –35 41-51
Well here I am again doing a sermon at St Peters, as I was writing this I could not help thinking– I wonder how many people had a look on the net to see what a Deacon does, — or maybe had a look on the St Peters web sight at my sermon? Or then again maybe you just dismissed it as just another in a long line of sermons you have heard.
Tomorrow we celebrate in our church calendar Laurence, Deacon and Martyr at Rome in 258A.D even back then there were Deacons, so we as an order in the church are still working as hard as ever keeping the church in order, maybe this is why we are called the prickly undies of the church.
Lets get to this weeks sermon, as you heard last week from Diane, she told us “That the bread from heaven is the Son of Man, sent by God to give life to the world”
In this weeks reading we again look at Jesus telling the people about him being the bread of life, so you are getting the point that both Jesus and the church think that this is very important.
This week starts off in verse 35 with Jesus telling the people that “I am the bread of life who ever comes to me will never be hungry: he who believes in me will never be thirsty.
We then jump to verse 41 and it tells us that the people started grumbling about him.
Every time I read or hear about the people of Israel grumbling at Jesus I feel sad, I can believe the Israelites really didn’t know how lucky they were, I mean they had only to open their eyes, and realize what they had right in front of them, Jesus Christ in the flesh, you could reach and touch him, wouldn’t that be great, but no, not for the Israelites, seems all they could do is grumble to the point of killing him, makes me wonder why they were Gods chosen people.
It was not as if he was asking them to do something they could not handle, no all they had to do was to come to him and believe, in fact as we heard in the Gospel reading today he even gives them a blue print to follow.
Maybe back then, it was just too easy, but then when you look back maybe God had decided this was how it all should start, after all we have gone over 2000 years and still Jesus is the most important person that ever lived and millions put their trust in him even though they can`t see or touch him.
I often wonder what if Jesus walked through the door right now, what I would do, I would hope that have enough foresight to recognize him, but somehow I get that nagging feeling I would end up like Peter, would you know our Lord if he came knocking at your door?
Are you sure he has not come already and you missed him or her.
I think on that note that I need to lift my game stop dreaming and get back to the Gospel, just a wee thought before I go on, maybe there is something in the fact that all I need to do is believe in Christ, maybe just maybe, there could be hope for me yet.
So with these thoughts in mind where do I go to from here, well, I was on the web site of Sir David Moxon in Rome and found he was writing about the bread of life and thought he wouldn’t mind if I shared some of his thoughts with you, this is a bit of what he said.
He started with the statement, God himself is the gift and he is also the giver, is this how you see God, is he your giver, are you humble enough to receive his gifts.
David then said, that Jesus speaks to us of a different kind of food, food which is not corruptible and that we must search for and welcome into our lives.
Jesus tells us that working for food that perishes while important is not the most important thing, he says more importantly we should strive “for the food that endures for eternal life which the Son of Man will give us”
Jesus wants us to understand that beyond a physical hunger, man has a different kind of hunger – “we all have this hunger” – a more important kind of hunger that cannot be satisfied with ordinary food. “It is the hunger for life – the hunger for eternity – that only He can satisfy because He is the bread of life”
Remember “Jesus said to them and us that: I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst”.
This seems to me to refer to the Eucharist, the meal we are all about to share, the Eucharist which is the greatest gift that fulfils both body and soul”.
It reminds me of the words we are about to hear from the Great Thanksgiving on page 423 of the prayer book “ Send your Holy Spirit that these gifts of bread and wine which we receive may be to us the body and blood of Christ, and that we, filled with the sprits grace and power may be renewed for the service of your kingdom.
To meet and to welcome Jesus, “the bread of life” gives meaning and hope to our lives.
Diane told us last week that the Lords prayer refers to this bread of life “Give us today our daily bread, each day, sufficient for that day, safe in the knowledge that the supply will be replenished tomorrow, so that prayer you learnt from your mum when you were a kid and you have said a million times is still true today, I mean who would argue with their mum.
I leave you a little food for thought; “To refuse the offer of Jesus is to miss life in this world and the world to come; whereas to accept his offer is to find real life in this world and glory in the world to come”.