Sunday, August 16, 2009
Not like your Ancestors
"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." John 6:58
Each of us comes from distinct groups of ancestors and have inherited traits that are special or peculiar to our families. Dark brown, nearly black eyes, run in my family. From my Cherokee ancestors, I have inherited traditions,stories as well as customs concerning the roles of men and women as well as the foods we ate. These customs were different than what I was taught in school and what was handed down through my father's side of the family. As we look forward to our daughter's wedding, we also have been considering some of the customs we might continue (or not continue) as we share their celebration. All people have their family stories of survival. Their stories of plenty and want. Jesus knows his audience and knows the tradition of their ancestors having manna sent down from heaven. He also knew that those who received daily heavenly feeding constantly grumbled at their leaders.
We are people, who despite our human frailties, are guaranteed the love of God in the food God sent down, once and for all. Once we ate and were satisfied and then got hungry again. In Christ we are fed for all times. God sent the best for us and for all time. Even if we grumble, even if we wish we were elsewhere or want a different kind of bread, God offers us food for life and life eternal. We are now not distant foreign nations to God, but in Christ we are children at the family's groaning board. It is thanksgiving always.
May we rejoice this Lord's day in the food we have received. Even if we are surrounded by shortages, even if we are feeling the pinch of the economy, even if our personal resources seem bleak -may we remember that we are completely fed forever. Christ Jesus came for fullness of life, now and forever. And for me, this is truly good news in an anxious world.