February 17, 2005

Bread of Life / Marjorie

I am the Bread of Life is one of my favorite hymns, click on Melody in the upper left corner of the screen to hear the tune.

John 6:22-59
...So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus.

We're all looking, aren't we?

Then they said to him, "What must we do to perform the works of God?"
Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."
So they said to him, "What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing?

Haven't they seen enough of his work, haven't they had enough signs? I wonder how they could be so dense, so unbelieving. And then I look at myself. What signs have I be given that I discard, wondering whether they are simply coincidences. I complain, I seek deliverance, yet I refuse to whole-heartedly follow the path before me. How clear must the path be? How open the way? I am one of these people. Please, Lord, show me another sign, so I may be certain. How many signs does one need?

... But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.

Sure they believe, they followed him, didn't they? Its not enough, is it? They aren't commited, they think they've done enough by looking, but now they've found him and they may not be willing to take the next step.

Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day."

The promise and the comfort.

Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." They were saying, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, 'I have come down from heaven'?"

An answer to my question -- how can I know? You can't, not if you're trying to discern by human standards, not if you're going to use only your five senses. Truthfully, they probably already know, they are just looking for excuses, looking for an out.

Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life.

What are the requirements of belief? I believe but I must also follow. What if I'm not certain where I'm being led? If I feel led, am I disobeying by not following? What is my counter-argument? I can find none, all that awaits is patient submission.


At 10:05 p.m., Blogger crystal said...

Marjorie said - I've got a niggling feeling that there is something I'm supposed to be doing now but I'm dragging my feetI have that feeling too, like there's something tangible I should be doing. That online retreat I took gives the impression (I think) that one should be "helping Jesus in his mission" ... helping the poor, working for social justice, promoting peace, etc. So far, I'm doing pretty much none of the above ... still unsure.

At 12:31 a.m., Blogger Meredith said...

I see your thoughts, and questions fluttering like flags in the wind: "We're all looking, aren't we?" "How clear must the path be? How open the way?" "Its not enough, is it?" "How can I know?" "What if I'm not certain where I'm being led?" "What is my counter-argument?"

Do you see/feel the fluttering?

I read the following excerpt of a conversation quoted from the movie The Empire Strikes Back and I thought of you:

LUKE: But how am I to know the good side from the bad?

YODA: You will know. When you are calm, at peace. Passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.

LUKE: But tell me why I can't...

YODA: (interrupting) No, no, there is no why. Nothing more will I teach you today. Clear your mind of questions.

See why I thought of you?

Smiling, and with great respect,

At 7:01 a.m., Blogger Marjorie said...

Crystal, yes, I feel the same way.

Meredith, sometimes I'm anxious, sometimes I'm peaceful, sometimes I wonder what the big deal is. Thank you for sharing that passage with me, it speaks to my condition (which you already knew, anyway)

I received a message today, signed 'Be Peace' -- perhaps that is a Quaker expression, it is a beautiful thought, one on which I will meditate.

At 5:01 p.m., Blogger Larry said...

One of my favorite hymns, too, Marjorie: I've sung it in solos, quartets, and of course congregational singing.

Why are they (and we) so dense? Is it because we're so in love with the "world" and so commited to the "domination system" under which we live? We love God, but do we also not love plenty of "not God"?

"But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe." Re this word believe: scholars say it more properly means trust. Do we trust the way? No, I'm afraid I don't; not except in my few best moments.

"I will raise them up on the last day." Another thrillingly beautiful hymn, written by one of the Ann Arbor Charismatic Community.

"An answer to my question -- how can I know?"
That question "speaks to my condition", Marjorie.

"Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life." I think believing is eternal life.

Crystal: re niggling:
Dear friend, start with something-- no matter how inconsequential. It will give you a warm feeling and lead to great things.

Meredith, my dear: forgive me, but don't we all have a few flags in the wind?

Marjorie: "Being Peace" is a powerful little book by that wonderful Buddhist, Thich Nhat Hanh.
Here is a web page that tells us something about him.


Post a Comment

<< Home