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." John 6:51-58
From the Service for Baptism
Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy Spirit you have bestowed upon this your servant the forgiveness of sin, and have raised them to the new life of
grace. Sustain her, O Lord, in your Holy Spirit. Give her an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works. Amen.
Last Sunday afternoon, Lilly was baptized and I have been thinking about "the courage and will to persevere..." There are times in our lives when we have been battered and discouraged and it can be hard to persevere and hang in there. She has her whole life ahead of her, and the joy and the challenges ahead will be many. Our job as grand parents and as family is to hold her up in the hard times, teach her the strength of her faith, help her to carry the load and find joy in every possible moment.
John's Gospel continues to talk about Jesus as the bread of life. Not just as a mere morsel, a taste of food, but a deep, abiding, filling and renewing source of life and vitality. Not just a Sunday snack but the living source that provides "the courage and will to persevere..." God incarnate is with us, God abides with us and within us and we are never alone nor abandoned no matter how dark the day and how lonely and hungry we might find ourselves.
As this busy and confusing day closes, I want to give thanks to God to the many people who provide that support and strength when mine fails. I am so blessed with an amazing family, I often take for granted the strength and faithfulness they provide. May we who are blessed use every ounce of our beings for the encouragement of others. May we, who are filled bring food to others. May we who abide in a loving environment be shelter and safety for those who are so alone. May God abide in our midst as we give God's love away.
Almighty God, you have given your only Son to be for us a sacrifice for sin, and also an example of godly life: Give us grace to receive thankfully the fruits of his redeeming work, and to follow daily in the blessed steps of his most holy life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.