Submitted by Jan on Tue, 18/08/2015 – 09:47
Year B (2014-2015)
Bible Book: John / Johannes
Verse: 56 – 69
Many of the disciples following Jesus were drawn by the apparent authority of Jesus’s words and deeds and saw in him the messiah who will liberate them from their Roman oppressors in a powerful way.
Yet in John 6: 66 we see many of these disciples turn away from Jesus, finding what he is saying too much. They were too attached to their worldviews, agendas, understandings etc. to let go in order for them to experience what Jesus was revealing. They wanted a nationalistic liberator and did not want to hear anything else that confuses them or their understanding of God and what was right for them.
In verse 67 we read that Jesus asked his twelve disciples if they were going to leave him and in contrast to those who turned away, Peter proclaims on behalf of the twelve disciples in verse 68 to 69: “Lord, there is no one else that we can go to! Your words give eternal life. We have faith in you, and we are sure that you are God’s Holy One.”
Peter expresses that on the journey with Christ, they have found a “home” and that there is no one else with whom they have the same as with Him. It is exactly the opposite of those who turned way. For Peter it is the words of Christ that give eternal life and stills the yearning for liberation, freeing the whole person in the presence of God. And the faith he proclaims is not knowledge/facts/truth alone, but TRUST in the relationship with God’s Holy One, who invites all to eat from his body and drink from his blood to have life in abundance.
Today, as we yearn to be liberated from so many stigmas, stereotyping, labels, discrimination and violence surrounding HIV and sexual minority people, we are either turning away from God, because we know how it should be or we respond to God’s love and mercy revealed in Christ.
May God draw us ever closer to being liberated to have fullness in life as we eat of the bread and drink of the wine that is offered to us through love and mercy.
May the Holy Spirit empower us to have hope and courage to serve God’s world with inner freedom, love and compassion. It is through our relationship with God that we can become who we are made to be in dealing with the challenges we face.
To think about: How willing are you to let go of your own agenda, views and understandings as you open to eternal liberation in the presence of God through the gifts of eternal life in the bread and wine you receive in Holy Communion?
Written by: Rev Judith Kotze, Director, Inclusive and Affirming Ministries (IAM)
Author: Kotze J (Rev)