Ninth Sunday After Pentcost
Today the liturgical churches that use the Common Lectionary are celebrating the ninth Sunday after Pentecost.. The Gospel for today is John 6:24-35
It is a story full of promise and life changing possibility> It offers so very much to anyone who will take it.
And yet it is a sad story.
It introduces us again to a bunch of people who saw and tasted a miracle done by Jesus. They wanted more of the same. So they chased Him across the lake. The wouldn’t quit until they found him.
But they didn’t chase after Him because they thought He was God. They didn’t even think He was the Messiah.
When they found him Jesus summed up their motivation nicely . He said (verse 26) “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill”
They wanted more food. They wanted somebody who could keep them supplied.
Jesus tells them to get the food that endures to eternal life they need to believe in Him.
The Crowd which is very practical says they will believe if he gives another sign or another miracle and suggest it be one like Moses giving food in he wilderness.
If Jesus can come up with more bread they will believe.
God in human form stands before them. He offers them Himself. He tells them He is the bread of life. He is the answer to their deepest hunger . He is the answer to the thirst that never goes away..
But they want food for the body not the soul.
That’s why the story is so sad.
They were giving up what they really needed because it wasn’t what they wanted.
In some sense this is the sad story of our age.
We have given up God for practical things.
We pray to science to deliver more bread.
Our real hungers go unfed.
The deep emptiness of our souls. The feeling that something is missing.
We fill the void with drugs, drink, sex, pursuit of money.
All the time Jesus reaches out to us and offers us what we need.
It is a sad story.
But the good news is that some still hear and respond.
Some lives are still changed and made new.
Some hungers are met.