I will be in Kenedy this Sunday at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, filling in while their pastor is away doing fun things. I provided a sermon title for their bulletin, “His Real Presence Really Builds the Body!” That longer sermon will be based on John 6:51-58 and will speak of a Christian Church community forged by bonds of love, which are tied tight by the shared food and drink of Christ’s body and blood. Jesus reminds us in this lesson that we are invited to share in the meal of His body and blood. This event “teaches us about the breadth and depth of God’s love and about God’s desire for us to abide in that love.” It is similar to another reading for this Sunday, which speaks of the feast of “insight” in Proverbs 9:1-6.
Many denominations differ about what Jesus meant when he spoke of his body and blood sacrifice for our sins. We speak of how Jesus is “really present” in the Sacrament of Holy Communion. “Jesus’ audience asks a reasonable question: ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’” Read the passage mentioned above from John 6, and you will notice that Jesus’ answer doesn’t really address the question. Jesus has a way of turning our base question into something on a much deeper level, and so he tells the hearers that “he is the true bread from heaven, the true source of eternal life.” The Christian traditions do not speak of being carnivore in “eating flesh and drinking blood.” The profound thought is about a grace-filled invitation to be with Jesus, forever.
How we struggle as good Christians to abide in Christ! It is hard, with all of the competition of the world, to abide in Christ. But try it, for with the abiding is a promise that is out of this world. By sharing in his meal, Christ will abide in you and nothing will be able to separate you from the love of God. Are you seeking a love that is lasting? So many have found that receiving God’s eternal love is more than they can ask! It is, also, more than they deserve to receive!
But there it is! Christ comes to us in the bread and wine of Holy Communion with the gift of amazing grace and all the love that God could possibly pour out in our lives is poured out and the “measure overflows.” Some who are reading these words may fear, some may doubt, some may have been hurt too much to trust God once again. But God waits at the table with His love being poured out in blood and body, in wine and bread for you and for me. God loves each of us that much, and He wants you to eat and drink and come to know God.