Scripture Reading: John 6:25-59
Reflection #1 :
Jesus gained quite a following after he had fed 5,000 people and walked on water. The disciples were continually confused by Jesus and his words and his ways. In John 6, the disciples can’t find Jesus. They are looking for him and finally find him on the “other side of the lake” (John 6:25). It’s a funny question that they ask Jesus once they find him. “Rabbi, when did you get here?” (John 6:26).
As you approach time with Jesus this morning, spend some time imagining yourself in this scene that you have just read. Jesus has performed amazing miracles. You have seen them first hand. What do you wonder about this man? You are now looking for Jesus after all of this and you cannot find Him. How do you feel? Look around you and imagine. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? Try to engage all of your senses in this imagining. Then with gentle curiosity, ask yourself, “Who am I in this story?”
Imagine for a moment that you are a disciple. Maybe you, like the disciples, have been looking for Jesus. Maybe you have been blinded by your own suffering or your own fear. Maybe you have been angry and wondering about where Jesus is. Why is Jesus not showing up the way I expect him to show up? Spend some time imagining yourself in this scene. Like the disciples, you have a question. What is your question for Jesus? Write it down.
Jesus “peels back a layer” on the question that the disciples ask and he says “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs 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. On him God the Father has places his seal of approval.” 6:26-27 The disciples ask Jesus how long he had been there and Jesus invites them to look inside their own hearts. “You are looking for me because…”
Why are you coming to Jesus this morning? Spend a few minutes in prayer with this question. What comes up? Write it down.
Jesus eventually leads the disciples in a comparison metaphor. The disciples are interested in Jesus and looking everywhere for him because of his miracles. They are saying, “hey Jesus, where is our next meal?” Jesus points out that the bread they are looking for will leave them hungry again but eating the “Bread of Life” will leave them filled up forever. They will never be hungry again.
What does it mean for you to eat of the bread of life today? How can you accept the gift that Jesus is offering you? Spend some time writing about this.
Feed us now, Child of God, as you fed your first disciples.
Feed us with that soul-food which nurtures enough love within us to outstrip the fears and enmity that ties the world up in knots.
Feed us with that spiritual bread with strengthens our hands for serving those broken and lost people who this world deems a waste of space.
Feed us, so that we may be fulfilled with some of that joy which the universe cannot contain.
For your loves sake.