Jesus Is Life
Though we are alive, separation from God means that we are dead and lost. We are in need of life. We can only receive this life through Jesus Christ, who is life and gives life.
In the text for today, Jesus tells the crowd that whoever eats his flesh and drinks his blood will have life. Some in the crowd say that Jesus’ teaching is hard. He claims that he is the true bread that comes from heaven. He tells them this is not like the bread that their ancestors ate and died. Those who eat this bread will live forever.
At the beginning of John 6, the crowd followed Jesus. He multiplied bread and fish and gave it to them to eat. The next day they went to look for Jesus again. He told them that they were not looking for him because they understood his miracles but because he had given them bread to eat. Jesus told them to work for the food that lasts for eternal life. And they asked Jesus to give them this bread always. But he tells them that he is the Bread of Life.
We must seek Jesus daily so that he can live in us and we in him. If we follow Jesus hoping to gain material possessions, we miss the mark. When we eat Jesus’ flesh and blood, we enter into an intimate relationship with him. This intimate relationship means allowing Jesus to direct our lives. Seeking Jesus daily means feeding on the word of the One who provides light for our journeys, the One who gives us strength through the trials and temptations we face. In John 10:10 Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” We all need life in abundance!
O Lord, I want to abide in you and for you to abide in me so that I may live abundantly, as you intend for all your people. Amen.
God had prevented David from building a temple in Jerusalem but then permitted David’s son Solomon to build it. In First Kings, Solomon places the ark of the covenant in the holiest place, and God’s presence descends. The psalmist rejoices in the Temple and would rather be in its courts than anywhere else because that is where God dwells. The New Testament readings remind us that the people of God have always met with resistance. The author of Ephesians compares living the Christian life to going into battle, so we must be prepared. Jesus also meets with resistance in John. His teachings are too hard for many to accept, so they abandon him. When we face resistance, therefore, we should not be surprised; but we are also not alone.
Read 1 Kings 8:1, 6, 10-11, 22-30, 41-43. How does your faith inform the hospitality you show to friends? To strangers?
Read Psalm 84. How do you find joy in the Lord? Recall a recent time when you felt a deep sense of this joy.
Read Ephesians 6:10-20. How do truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and God’s word help you live boldly as an ambassador of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Read John 6:56-69. How do you respond to Jesus’ question: “Does this offend you?” This teaching was hard for his disciples. Where do you struggle with it?
Respond by posting a prayer.
This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”
Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.