It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Day of Thanksgiving, a reflection on John 6:25-36 and Philippians 4:4-7

These readings selected for Thanksgiving Day have also been in the lectionary on other occasions.

Repeat from July 2009: True Bread, a Reflection on John 6:28-35
Jesus has told them that they need to work for a different goal.

Both are important--work and what they are supposed to work for.

Their work is to believe. Believe--how hard is that? Believe--is it possible? Believe--does he mean creed or something else?

The goal is bread. And they want it. They ask how they can get this true bread from heaven. Jesus says, "You've already got it. I am the bread of life."

This passage is raising a lot of uncomfortable questions for me today: Why do I go to church? What do I pray about? What am I working for? How do I know if I have passed the "believe" requirement. Am I looking for a sign? And most disturbing, what do I do with verse 35? I know that hunger and thirst exist, and I know that good, believing people are among the hungry and thirsty. And I know that I don't want to metaphorize the terms completely.


Menus, a Reflection on John 6:24-27
Why do we go to church? What do we expect to get out of it?

Or, what methods do we use to try to get other people to join our church? What do we think motivates them?

Jesus told the crowds that day, "You've come because I provided food for you."

He adds, "You're searching for the wrong kind of food. Church suppers are great, but you'll still want breakfast the next morning."

Yet, I don't think he is disparaging typical church evangelistic efforts. We do want to get people in the doors. But, once inside, they need to know more.


Rejoice, a Reflection on Philippians 4:4-7
Always rejoice. Never worry. Tell God what you want.

Are Paul's instructions realistic for you? That is, can you imagine yourself rejoicing at all times? Or, showing your gentleness to everyone? Or, perhaps, even having gentleness whether you show it or not?

Have you experienced the peace of God during a tough time in your life?

What portion of your prayers typically are expressions of joy? or even of moderate gratitude?

How does your congregation live out this passage?

The Vanderbilt Divinity Library offers Prayers for Thanksgiving Day including this one:

O God,
in your Son Jesus Christ
you richly bless us with all that we need,
bread from the earth and the bread of heaven,
which gives life to the world.
Grant us one thing more:
grateful hearts to sing your praise,
in this world and the world to come. Amen.

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