Thursday, November 26, 2015

Bread of Life - Thanksgiving 2015

Jesus said, "Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal."
Then they said to him, "What must we do to perform the works of God?" Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent." So they said to him, "What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'" Then Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." They said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always." Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:26-35 
Today is Thanksgiving Day 2015, a day when we stuff turkeys and ourselves, and remember all that we are thankful for. People obsess about food, food preparation and presentation and plan for their Christmas shopping onslaught. For Native people, who love feasts as well as everyone else, it is a day of very mixed emotions. Welcoming the settlers and helping them to survive became the undoing of many of our tribes and peoples. The intersection of being thankful and truthful remembering is important for every true Thanksgiving.
Jesus is overwhelmed by the confusion of those around him. They want the way ahead simplified and clear. And he reminds them that their humble faith and service to others will always fill their bellies and their hearts. They want signs and guarantees, as do we. And we are invited by God to put simple faith and loving service first and all our needs will be filled. As we learn to love and share with our neighbors, we will see and know the presence of the loving and incarnate Creator. We will be blessed as we bless others.
Today I ask God to help me be grateful and thankful by being of service to others. May our love and service be the sign of God's presence with us. And may we remember the past, so that we can use those lessons to work for justice and love in our world today.

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