Just like our bodies experience hunger pangs, our hearts and spirits can also experience “soul pangs.” It seems as if we’re born into this world with certain hungers for love, belonging, connection, joy, play, peace and so much more. We often experience these “hungers” in isolation, not acknowledging them to others and, very frequently, not even acknowledging them to ourselves. Many of us, myself included, try to fill these soul pangs with food or drink or activity that doesn’t come close to truly meeting our needs. It is part of our human condition to experience hunger…not only hunger in our bodies but hunger in our spirits as well.
Our scripture passage for this week talks about Jesus as the “bread of life,” the one who can fill the deepest hungers of our souls. What exactly does Jesus mean when he says this? Have we experienced this to be true? What does it take from us, on our end, to know Jesus in this way? I hope you’ll join us for worship on Sunday as we celebrate Holy Communion and reflect more on Jesus as the bread of life…the one who satisfies the hunger of our hearts and spirits in transformational ways.
This Sunday we are returning to a fully live service with livestream available for those who would like or need to worship from home. In light of concerns related to the Delta variant of COVID-19, I know some of you are choosing to join in person for worship and some are choosing to remain at home. We are one community, one body, whether we are on campus or in our living rooms. Please know that you are supported in making the best decisions for your health and well-being and the health and well-being of your loved ones. We continue to ask all those present for worship to wear a mask while inside. We are making a few other adjustments based on new guidance from San Diego County to faith based organizations. We will return to “humming” and refrain from congregational singing while indoors. We will also encourage folks to maximize distance between families or groups of friends who choose to sit together. I’ll be asking us, at the end of the service during Eagles’ Wings, to only join hands with family members or with friends who have made a prior agreement to do so. While none of us like these limitations they are ultimately small sacrifices if they help us protect one another and the community around us. I am grateful for your cooperation and I know we all continue to pray for the end of this pandemic.
May the Holy Spirit continue to guide us in these unusual times and may we be instruments of God’s peace, justice and mercy in our own unique and beautiful ways. See you Sunday!
John 6:35, 41-51 (NRSV)
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus answered them, “Do not complain among yourselves. No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”