Article | August 10, 2018
Lectionary Reflection: The Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33; Psalm 130; Ephesians 4:25-5:2; John 6:35, 41-51
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus encounters some literal-minded folks who are unhappy with an image he uses, one that is central to what we’re experiencing in our worship today. “How can he be the bread of life?” they fume. “He’s a guy we know!”
Bread itself can be a paradox – the most basic of foodstuffs, but produced by a particular alchemy of grain and yeast that requires skill and delicacy to bring forth. This Sunday, our bread-baking team is providing a demo of how our Eucharistic bread gets made, in the Chapter House kitchen before and after the 11am service. Our own “bread of life” is made by human hands – and something more.
In Life of the Beloved, Henri Nouwen invites us to join Jesus in seeing our lives as an ongoing celebration of communion, with us as the bread. What if we imagined ourselves as continually taken, blessed, broken and given? We’re made of simple elements, but with the kindling yeast of the Spirit, we can be so much. Where do our lives nourish others? Where do the blessings we receive radiate out into the world? Where are we open to transformation, to the rising and expanding we need to experience to be fully alive? Taste and see – the bread of life is everywhere!
Carol James has been part of the cathedral community for over a decade. She has served as a co-mentor in the Education for Ministry program. She currently leads the evening prayer providers in the Jail Ministry and is a cathedral staff member.