John Day 12: Turning Back

The Sorrowful Christ, a statue at the Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, Lewiston, NY

Gospel of John Reading Plan
Day 12 Reading:
John 6:60-71

Bringing the Word to Life
Pray for persons who have walked away from faith in Jesus Christ.

Pastor Lisa’s Journal
Scripture
So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?”- John 6:67 (NRSV)

The word emotion comes from the Latin “emovere”, meaning to “move through or out.” So in its original form, there isn’t any trace of clinging to, or rejecting, these movements. But instead of allowing emotions to move through and out of us, we often feed them with negative thoughts and end up giving them long-term residence. In short order, the guests take over the house, leaving us reeling and unable to truly be in control. – Viral Mehta

Observation
Jesus has just explained that he is the Messiah and will offer his body for the salvation of the world. He uses a metaphor to explain belief, that he is the “bread that came down from heaven” and that those who believe will be one with him by “eating his flesh” and “drinking his blood.” Many take what he is saying literally. It is hard enough to believe God’s Great Messiah will die and even more so that he must be eaten.

Application
When words of sacrifice are spoken, many want no part of it. They walk away from following Jesus. What a heartbreaking day. You can hear the pain in Jesus’ voice, “Do you also wish to go away?” The wound grows even deeper as Jesus states that someone who has stayed will eventually betray him.

We come to the Bible as consumers, rummaging through texts to find something at a bargain. We come to worship as gourmets of the emotional, thinking that the numinous might provide a nice supplement to sunsets and symphonies. We read “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want,” and our hearts flutter. We read “You shall not fear the terror of the night,” and we are tranquilized. We read “He does not deal with us according to our sins” and we decide we have probably been too hard on ourselves. But when we read “The Lord says…The Lord has sworn,” our interest flags and we reach for the newspaper to find out how the stock market is doing.
Eugene Peterson, Earth and Altar

My prayer came out as a poem today…

Turn and Return by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Who shall separate us from the love of God?

We    Fall away
Slip away
Turn away
Hide away
Run away
Push away
Go our way
Lose our way

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your Presence?
You     Pursue

Woman sweeping
Spirit drawing
Hound dog tracking
Lover calling
Brood Hen gathering
Shepherd searching
Racer enduring
Father waiting… praying… hoping… looking… running… embracing
Our turning and returning

Lord, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life.

poem © 2011 Lisa Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

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