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.” He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum. John 6:52-59
I can clearly hear my father singing, "Abide with Me", even though he passed in 1994. He would sing with gusto, in his tenor voice, projecting with his whole body and soul a deep trust in God who abides with us. He sang me into believing as well. There is a summer chapel in my" hometown" of Cape May Point, that has withstood storms, moves and generations of shorts-clad Christians, who worship with gusto as others pass by to the sun, sand and waves. St. Peter's has stood firm, abiding through wind and lightening, to witness to a God who abides with us. When the shutters and windows are open. it sings others into believing with her simple steadfast beauty.
Jesus is still caught in an argument that was started after he claimed a direct relationship with God. Teaching in the synagogue, his words brought people to faith, but also made some angry. They were afraid of what he was claiming, and puzzled in their lack of understanding. It is in abiding that we find and know our faith, and in relationships which teach us how to love and trust. We find our faith in community, in relationship and in the steadfast people and places that always bring us home. Jesus invited them home to God but they couldn't grasp this.
Today I ask God to help me walk through this Lent, abiding and trusting in the solid love of God for me. May we all abide in God's love, soaking love in, singing love through, walking with God's abiding love.