Jesus said, “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." ….. Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. And he said, "For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father."
John 6 [The Gospel for Sunday, August 26, 2012 – Proper XVI, Year B RCL ]
Our new Rector Paul is giving the 4th of four sermons on the Eucharist today. They’ve been excellent. In good solid Anglican sacramental tradition, he’s been emphasizing the connection between the physical things we “use” and the deep symbolic, metaphorical, of-the-soul meaning and implications.
Jesus makes it clear (I think) that He’s not talking about physical flesh and blood in this passage from the Gospel version called John. Today, I think that Jesus wants His followers to see the great vision of Life - Life that goes on “forever” - when lived “in God”, the fountain of all that comprises the Mystery we call Life. Literalism is a killer; I think Jesus makes that clear. Living only on the literal level - material things, etc - prevents the spirit from ever flowering.
I’m sure you’ve had grand preachers today who have lifted you up into the Holy vision of fullness of Life! God bless our preachers! I know that you’ve experienced in worship today being reached out to and raised up like Peter out of the drowning waters into a giddy sense of Life’s - your Life’s and our Life together - possibility for Joy. “Flesh and Blood” pour love and generosity and kindness and compassion into our veins, and we burst with Life to share with each other.
Literalism is killing us in America these days on every level. My hope is that my Life and ours can be witnesses to the deep Life of “living in” the God Who is Eternal Life.