Saturday, February 15, 2014

You Are What You Eat

Readings for Sunday: Psalm 34:1-10, John 6:35-59

You are what you eat.

Manna in the wilderness
came down from heaven
enough for everyone,
a double portion for Sabbath
for the Children of Israel.

They grumbled about the lack of food -
God fed them.
They grumbled about the lack of water -
God caused springs to come out of rocks.
They even grumbled about manna day in and out -
God sent them quail to roast, gnaw the meat from the

They grumbled and yet God cared for them.

They ate manna in the wilderness.
Yet they died in the wilderness.
Because they did not trust the God,
who fed them with bread from heaven,
who quenched their thirst and gave them meat,
who delivered them from bondage in Egypt,
who called them and claimed them as God’s people.

This God who showed steadfast love to them,
they did not trust to protect them
from men like giants
blocking entry to the land God promised them.

So they did not enter the Promised land,
but wandered in the wilderness for 40 years,
forty years of daily manna,
until they died
and their children received the land promised.

Now their children’s, children’s, children-
32 generations later in the Promised land-
at their fill on a hill side.
5000 of them ate their fill
from 5 loaves and 2 fish,
with 12 baskets of leftovers.

They pursued the one who fed them,
seeking more of this miraculous bread.
Then they grumbled when he said,
“I am the Bread of Life,
the Bread that comes down from heaven.”

How can manna come from a child of Galilee,
son of Joseph and Mary of Nazareth?

“I am the Bread of Life.
God the Father,
who sent manna in the wilderness
to feed your parents’ hungry bodies,
now sends manna for your wilderness,
food and drink for your starving souls.”

“I am the Bread of Life.
Eat of my flesh -
trust in me -
and you will have life,
eternal and abundant,
the life God has promised from the beginning.”

You are what you eat.

Your parents ate manna and died.
You can eat the Bread of life.
You can fill yourselves with my life.
You can live.

They grumbled when he said, “Eat my flesh.”
How can you give us your flesh?

“I am the Bread of life.
Those who consume me,
body and blood -
gnawing to get every last bit -
who take The Word made flesh,
into their very beings,
have life -
restored, whole, complete,
all that you were meant to be,
abundant life,
eternal life.”

They grumbled,
shocked and scandalized!
How can we eat your flesh?
How could we even think to drink your blood?

Blood is life!
Blood is holy!
Blood is sacred!

It belongs to God -
and to God alone.

“The blood of a creature is its life;
blood is returned to the earth,
or offered to God” (Lev 17:10-14)

This Word is too hard.
It’s a giant blocking entry to the Promised Land.

And some left to die.

Yet some remained,
some abided with the Word made flesh.
Where else could they go?

They were hungry for life!

And the Word made flesh
remained with them,
feeding them with daily bread -
bread from heaven
words of eternal life.

You are what you eat.

We wondered when Jesus
turned the water into wine,
abundant quantity of the very best wine,
If Jesus can turn
into holy-wine-people.
The very best wine,
Made from the fruit of God’s grace,

Now Jesus invites us
to take his life in us,
flesh and blood,
bread and wine,
to feed on the living Word,
abide with him,
remain in him, 
rely on him,
trust him.

The Word made flesh
who came down to dwell among us,
offered his flesh for us,
offered his blood to us,
gave us his life.

We are what we eat.
We eat the Bread of life -
and we have life.
We become bread.
Jesus pumping through our hearts.
Jesus flowing in our souls.
Jesus living in our skins.
Jesus powering our hands and our feet.

We become bread
for a world starving in the wilderness.
We are bread,
sent by God from this place
to feed those around us.

We are what we eat.

We come to the table.
Body of Christ – Bread of Life
given for you.
Blood of Christ – Wine of God’s steadfast love –
shed for you.
Mercy, and grace,
love and forgiveness,
hope and peace,
flowing from heaven,
For you.

For me.

For us.

The Body of Christ -
This is who we are.

We are what we eat.

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