Despite Jesus' repeated attempts to explain himself, many simply failed to understand. They were so hung up on the literal meaning of Jesus' claim to be "bread from heaven," that they missed the point completely. Here, I wonder if Jesus' words only confused them further. His explicit description of just how Jesus was bread sent from God probably hung them up even more.
Here's how I read it. God sent Jesus to be bread -- nourishment -- for people's hungry and weary spirits. For people to truly grasp the depth of God's gift, they need to fully consume everything that Jesus brings. And Jesus -- the bread -- must give everything of himself for God's people -- his spirit, his mind, and even his flesh and blood. Jesus had to be all in -- and so he was. We have to consume Jesus fully -- and so we strive.
I am not presenting this perspective to diminish the meaning of Holy Communion. I am offering this perspective to invite you to be all in. Give everything of yourself for God and God's people. Find your passion and purpose, and give yourself fully to it. Be all in.
Narrative Lectionary Text: John 6:52-59
The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So 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. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.” He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.