ST JAMES EPISCOPAL CHURCH
September 18, 2020 - Zoom class tonight, see below
The Bread of Life
for the week of September 20, 2020
What you need: a watch, clock, or timer; a quiet creative activity; a candle (if it's okay, or an intentional object like a cross); a Bible, if you'd like; paper; something to write with; a snack. Have your class with a sibling or other family members, or enjoy this time by yourself.
1) Begin with a transition time – Peace & Quiet: enjoy a creative activity for about 10 minutes (journaling, clay, Legos, drawing, etc. Not a focus on a finished product; just enjoyment).
2) Next, clear that space, or move to another space, and light a candle (or place your intentional object). Settle in, and say a prayer, like: Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105). Offer more prayers, silently, or out loud, if you want.
Our focus for this class = John 6:33-59 (learn about manna in the appointed readings)
“For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
“Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.
For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me: that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
At this, the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven.’ They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”
“Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.
Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
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. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”
He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
That's A LOT of words. But they're really important. Try reading it out loud, slowly, like it's a movie script: "I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE" (starring who?)
leaders, scholars, people in the synagogue: devout Jews
random followers and curiosity seekers
Jesus, teaching there
The Jews know the history of their people, words of Prophets, promises of God - inside out.
The local folks know that Jesus is the son of a carpenter; he's Joseph (& Mary's) kid.
Everybody there knows that Jesus is a dynamic & challenging teacher/leader.
Everybody there hears who Jesus claims to be. And has strong feelings about that.
Can you just imagine the effect of Jesus' words!!
No wonder they grumbled & argued sharply. Wouldn't you?
How can they reconcile what they know about Jesus/Joseph's son & what Jesus tells them?
How does Jesus give us his flesh to eat? (And blood to drink?)
How does Jesus link the olden days with the future? How do people feel about that?!
Why does Jesus tell the same story three times?
4) Think about what you read, chat about it if you have company, look it up online (if allowed) and see if there's commentary about it – do you agree? Do you feel called to do something?
5) Brainstorm & make a poster, your choice: Top 10 Things to Grumble About
and/or Top 10 Things To Argue About. Take a pic; email me! (Thank you!)
6) Snack time! Prayers first: talk to God! "I'm grateful for, I'm worried about, I ask for, I bind, I loose" etc. And/or take 5 or more minutes for centering prayer: relaxing into peace & letting thoughts go. Breathe! Enjoy your snack.
7) Finally, clean up your space(s), and say a closing prayer, like: Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. - Plato. Blow out the candle, or put away the intentional object (or leave it there if you'd like to create a little sacred area) and say out loud:
Go now in peace, to love and serve the Lord! Thanks be to God! ALLELUIA!