Summary: A sermon for the 9th Sunday after Pentecost Proper 14 The sermon is about Jesus giving Himself for us
9th Sunday after Pentecost
John 6:35, 41-51
The Living Bread=Jesus’ Flesh
35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.
41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven."
42 They said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ’I have come down from heaven’?"
43 Jesus answered them, "Do not murmur among yourselves.
44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
45 It is written in the prophets, ’And they shall all be taught by God.’ Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.
46 Not that any one has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father.
47 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.
48 I am the bread of life.
49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.
50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die.
51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh."
2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. RSV
Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. amen
There are verses from our gospel lesson and a verse from our epistle lesson from Ephesians that I would like to play close attention to this morning.
From Ephesians: 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
And from our gospel lesson: and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.
Now to get a feeling what these two verses mean, I would like to tell you a story from a book by Shel Silverstein The Giving Tree
" The tree gives the little boy her apples to pick and her branches to climb. The boy and the tree love each other and are happy in their life together. As the boy grows older, however, his interest in the tree becomes less. The tree is very lonely until one day the boy returns as a young man. The tree offers her apples and branches, but the boy claims that he is too old to climb and play. He is more interested in money.
’Can’t you give me some money?’ he asks the tree.
The tree has not money, but she does have apples. Why doesn’t the boy pick the apples and sell them then he will be happy. The boy picks the apples and sells them, then he will be happy. The boy does this and the tree is happy. But then the boy stays away an even longer time and the tree is sad.
Years later the boy returns. The tree is overwhelmed with joy as she invite the boy to swing from her branches. But the boy is too busy to play. What he really wants is his own family and a house to keep him warm.
Can the tree give him a house? No, but the boy can cut her branches and build a house with them, suggests the tree; then he will be happy. The boy does this and the tree is happy.
Many years pass before the boy, now middle-aged returns. The tree, overjoyed, invites the boy to play. But now the boy is too old to play. all he wants is a boat which will take him far away.’Can you give me a boat?’ the tree invites the boy to cut down her trunk and make a boat so he can be happy. The boy does this, and the tree is happy--but not really, for now only a bare stump remains.
When, years late, the boy returns, he is hunched-over, old man. The tree apologizes for having nothing to offer any longer, no more apples to eat or branches to climb, only an old stump.
But the old man says his teeth are too weak for apples, and he is too old to climb. All he needs is a quiet place to sit and rest for he is very tired.
’Well,’ says the tree, straightening herself up as much as she can, ’an old stump is good for sitting and resting. Come, boy sit down, sit down and rest.’