Tuesday, August 26, 2014
- Morning Psalms 54; 146
- First Reading Job 6:1-4, 8-15, 21
- Second Reading Acts 9:32-43
- Gospel Reading John 6:60-71
- Evening Psalms 28; 99
Today’s Selection: John 6:56–71 (NRSV)
The issue raised in this text revolves around a division between those who believe and those who do not. The text shows us that unbelief can be found not only among “them” on the outside, those we so easily forget or write off but that unbelief is found among us and within us, reflected in this text both in those disciples who leave and in the one who stay to betray Jesus.
Chapter 6 began with a multitude needing to be fed…now, only 12 are present. Now, the disenchanted and grumbling are Jesus’ disciples. Yet God is working in the midst of apparent failure and rejection. The church is still called to see that it is in such places that the Word of Life is doing its work around us, among us, and within us. The presence of Peter, who would deny Christ, and even of Judas the betrayer…their presence provides hope for us to see. Our natural inclination is to turn and leave, to avoid the difficult call and above all to avoid the cross. Yet the Word, the Spirit, and the Father continue to call, and enlighten, and draw us to life.
Where will we find ourselves in this narrative? Are we the disciples who turn and leave, or those who with Peter confess that Jesus is the one – the only one – with the words of eternal life? Tough questions…but Jesus asks tougher questions…“Does this offend you?” and “Do you also wish to go away?” and….ultimately…“Did I not choose you, the twelve?”