Twelveth Sunday after Pentecost
READINGS FOR THE COMING WEEK
- First reading and Psalm
- 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14
- Psalm 111
- Alternate First reading and Psalm
- Proverbs 9:1-6
- Psalm 34:9-14
- Second reading
- Ephesians 5:15-20
- John 6:51-58
The gospel reading from John:
Jesus said “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.” The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.
Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.”
This is the last Sunday of four Sundays in a row that we read from John about the bread. Today we focus on understanding of the bread as a sacrament. John’s book has a spiral function. We are familiar with the linear function of much that we read, having a beginning that proceeds straight to an end. With the spiral function new ideas are added each time around. Some colleges offer a spiral program of subjects. Related subjects are added as a student progresses. In today’s reading from John what does “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood” mean? A meaning makes sense after what we have read before. Each time it comes around we have a better understanding. The Son who speaks these words is the Lamb of God. We place our hopes on that. In his sermon Pastor Stevensen leads to God’s unconditional promise and our responsibility to trust Him.