a conversation from my imagination (based on John 6)
me: hey, that was pretty cool what you did with the whole feeding all those people with just a little bit of bread and fish.
jesus: thanks. amazing things happen when people come together in faith.
me: i guess so. i mean, thanks for the bread and all, but i could have done without the sardines. some maple sugar ham and a slice of provolone with a little mayo would have been nice.
jesus: i wasn't taking orders.
me: right. but even peanut butter and j...
jesus: i can take it back, you know.
me: oh yeah, sorry. i forgot about your omnipotence and all that. not used to talking to God's Son. anyway, thanks for the grub.
jesus: i am the bread of life.
me: what? you say the strangest things. you are the bread of life? what does that even mean?
jesus: whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
me: umm...okay. that sounds pretty good.
jesus: it should sound very good. i am the bread of life. and unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life in you.
me: so you're saying you want me to take a bite of your arm? i'll stick to the sardines, thanks.
jesus: that's not exactly what it means.
me: so what does it mean, because, to be totally honest, its kind of confusing, and i wish th...
jesus: it means that my brokeness, my sacrifice, is what can truly sustain you. the cheesesteak you ate for lunch can sustain your body for a time, but only i can sustain your spirit for eternity. and it is only in my brokenness - my death - that i can do that. and you can only receive it by believing.
me: so you're saying that if i believe that you died for me, my soul will be sated? i will find all the nourishment i need?
jesus: and not only that, but i am leaving you with a totally unique way of remembering and celebrating and participating in that. when you gather together, you should pass the bread and the cup around and remember that my body was broken like a loaf of bread, and my blood was poured out like wine. for you. and remember that my death brought life -brought victory - brought hope. remember that that hope, that victory, that life is yours. celebrate that. and remember that it isn't for you alone, but for everyone who comes to the table. i am the bread of life.
i hope to see you in church on sunday, as we gather around the table to celebrate the bread of life, who was broken that we might be made whole. bring your own sardines.