August 2018

Sunday 5th August: Trinity 10

John 6: 24-35

Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus.  When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.  Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” ……

Jesus tries pointing out to the crowd that they are following him for the wrong reasons.  He had produced food for them out of what seemed like nothing – a miracle – and they wanted more.  But Jesus is encouraging them to look further – to see that it is His way of life they need to follow so that they learn more about our loving God, rather than the quick-fix miracles.

Are you looking for easy answers to what you are facing in life?  When these don’t immediately appear, are you tempted to turn away from God? – to feel that he isn’t answering your prayers?  God doesn’t always work in the obvious ways we expect, but he is with you all the time, surrounding you with his love.  Let us be prepared to wait until He is ready to give us answers, knowing that the waiting is part of His plan for us.

 

Sunday 12th August: Trinity 11

John 6: 35, 41-51

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.  ……….  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.”

We need bread – food – in order to live; it is an essential part of our daily lives, and here Jesus is saying that He is the bread of life.  The disciples misunderstood, quoting how God sent manna in the desert to feed them, but Jesus explained to them that he isn’t the physical bread; but he is an equally essential and important part of our lives.  Only he can provide us with what we really need - God’s love and acceptance so that we can be the people he wants us to be.  So how do we have Jesus as this vital part of our lives?  By inviting Him in – by asking Him to be with us as we work, as we look after our families, as we meet friends – in all parts of our life.  Jesus can make sense of it all, and help us to make something really worthwhile of our time here on earth.

Have you asked Jesus to be part of your life?  He is just waiting for you to make the first move – and He is with us at all times.

 

19th August: Trinity 12:  John 6: 51-58

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.  …….

Jesus is continuing his teaching on the importance of having Him – the bread of life – as part of our lives.  Without regular contact with Jesus by prayer, worship, receiving communion, reading the Bible – our lives become dry and stale; we no longer respond to God’s calls to us as we don’t hear them.  We need to keep Him at the very centre of our everyday life.

Do you involve God in all your decisions? Do you ask for his guidance – do you share the good times with him and thank him for all he has given you?  We all need to keep eating the bread Jesus is talking about – we need to be continually in touch so that he can guide us where he wants us to go.

 

26th August: Trinity 13: John 6 56-69

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.  ………..  The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.  Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.  He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.” From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.  We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

There are times when it seems as if God is asking too much of us ….  More than we can do or can give…… It is so easy to give up and to tell ourselves that perhaps we have got it wrong and we don’t have to listen to what we really know is right.  But Jesus is saying that we cannot follow Him unless God has ‘enabled’ us – unless God has given us his power and strength.  Our problem is that we try to follow the right path, but in our own strength not trusting and relying on God

Are you facing a difficult time or decision in your life?  Are you tempted to walk away, rather than grasp the hand being offered to you with all the help behind it that you will need?  God really will help you to do whatever he is asking you to do.  Have faith in his promises, and accept his help.




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