Several weeks prior to this service, we began asking people to bring in types of bread that represent their heritage to share in today’s Eucharist. These can be placed on the communion table. “Give us this day our daily bread.”
Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed 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. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.” Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:24-35
Questions for this Sunday: What is my “job” as a Christian in today’s world? What must we do to perform the works of God? (John 6:28).
“How then shall we live?” Each passage today considers a similar question. In David’s story, we see how not to live. In the psalm, we hear of apology and forgiveness. In Ephesians, we are encouraged to build up the body of Christ through love. And in John’s gospel, Jesus tells us to “work …for the food that endures for eternal life” (John 6:27). How shall we live in order to fulfill God’s potential for us? We have so many jobs in our lives—professional in our careers; personal as parents, children, spouses, and friends; and global as citizens of our communities, country, and the world. Most important of all, but often least considered, is what our job as Christians should be. That all comes down to love, and once God’s love is evident in us, our responsibilities in the other realms of our lives become clearer as well.