Shocking Words

Today we hear these words about Jesus’ flesh and blood in sixth chapter of John as words of comfort. Imagine, however, that you didn’t know these words. They would be shocking! Jesus was known as a rabbi or teacher in his day and he spoke these words in the synagogue at Capernaum (v. 59). Imagine if I as your pastor said these same words. How would you react? “Unless you eat my flesh, you have no life in you!”

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Bread of Life for Eternal Life

The eternal life that Jesus offers is not just an elongation of our present life. It involves his transformation both of us and of all creation. Elongation would involve continuing in this present world with all of its sin, suffering, and difficulties. On the other hand, Jesus boldly proclaims in Revelation 21:5 – “Behold I am making all things new.” And the verse before this tells us that “[God] will wipe away every tear from every eye…” So Jesus, the bread of life, is both a gift for this life (no more spiritual hunger) and for eternity.

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Growling Hunger

Have you ever felt concerned about running low on things you need? What do you do? Grumbling is often our natural response. Anxious feelings or scrambling and striving for a solutions are common responses as well. The Lord invites us to open our hands and ask. “Our father who art in heaven…give us this day our daily bread.”

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Sunday After Ascension

Jesus is the way of God, God revealed directly into our hearts. There is none other, no other redeeming Savior. It is in the way of Christ, who leads us, shows us the grace and love of the Father. In Him we are set free, to know Him, His truth in us. He is not distant, nor hidden; He is always before us. Ever present. He is before all time; He is eternal; his promise is fulfilled in the way of life.

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What is Love?

The Apostle John says that “God is Love.” It is important to note that he doesn’t say this the opposite way “Love is God.” The order of the words makes a big difference. Some have made a God out of love. That is putting the cart before the horse! As one commentator says, “Love does not describe the fullness of God, but God defines the fullness of love.”

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Rejoice all the earth!

Amen, and I say let our spirits Rejoice! For We are wonderfully and uniquely made in the image of our loving God; and therefore I am assured that we have within us, the raw capacity to love, serve, protect, and care for one another; but we, in our corrupted nature, often struggle to move in the way of love, or fully discern, the way of truth and that of a pure heart, from those competing voices, of our flesh and our self-interest and the world. So, when we consider the precepts of God, that call for us to love one another, how would we say we are doing?

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Good Shepherd

Why should we follow a Shepherd when we can make our own decisions?
When we follow the Shepherd he will show us how to live so that we can have calmer and more peaceful lives. Jesus longs to give us His sheep lives that reflect Him and bring His glory into the world. How might God want to stretch you and change you for His glory? How might God want to bring you closer to Him? Perhaps you can’t quite imagine being on the shoulders of Jesus. Perhaps you feel not ready or not good enough to be that close. I have a secret to share none of us are worthy enough but He delights in showing us mercy.

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Locked Doors

To say that “no one locks their doors here” is a badge of honor for many communities. It is an expression of confidence in the safety of the neighborhood. I once lived in such a community. When my parents first moved there, there was not even a lock on the door! Today I always lock our doors before going to bed. I bet you do too. I don’t think there is anything wrong with locking the door to your house but is worthwhile to consider whether you are locking danger out or locking yourself in.
For Jesus’ disciples, it was a little of both.

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Did you Hear the News?

The Resurrection of Jesus was shocking, world changing news.
It was so unexpected that even his disciples struggled to believe it! As with most big news, some were excited and others were definitely not! There are three basic approaches you can take when a breaking story puts you in a bad light. 1) cover it up, 2) Wait it out, 3) Admit your wrongdoing, apologize and deal with the consequences. As we consider the news of the Resurrection of Jesus, let us consider each of these approaches.

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The “Goodness” of that Friday

How can a day filled with so much pain, suffering, and injustice be called “Good.” When faced with the reality of Jesus’ passion, we might wonder whether all of this was really necessary. Couldn’t there have been another way? It is even worse when we remember that Jesus didn’t die because of something he did, like the criminals next to him, he died because of something you and I did.

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