As we journey together through Lent, Christians throughout Columbia will be sharing their own beautifully written personal meditations. Each will be accompanied by a corresponding scripture reading, and be linked to that passage in the Holy Bible. If you would like to join us on Columbia’s Lenten journey, please submit your personal meditation by email. Especially meaningful submissions will be printed. Let us continue our Lenten journey, day by day, to its glorious culmination on Easter Sunday.
Scripture reading: John 6:52-59
This passage of John follows the miracle story of Jesus feeding the five thousand. Jesus keeps the theme of food and bread, and tells His disciples, “Truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” John’s narration transitions the bread from being literal sustenance for the five thousand to being a part of the spiritual relationship between us and God.
Because we know how the story ends, we understand what Jesus is saying. However, because the Last Supper has yet to occur, this is quite confusing to His followers and those present. Jesus is telling us that we, as followers, must believe in Him and act on this belief by eating the bread and drinking the wine. Jesus is the way to eternal life, and we must trust in Him and show our obedience by following His instruction. Our commentator has indicated that, “The language of eating and drinking spears to be a graphic way of saying that we must take Christ into our innermost being.” Another has said that the eating and drinking form “a material point of contact between physical and spiritual reality.”
The instructions in John is the very thing that we already now to do in our own lives. We love our children, spouses, parents, etc., and we do certain things and perform certain actions to express that love. The Lord is commanding the same thing here – have faith, that is the way to eternal life, and partake of the bread and wine to express your faith. This is affirmed in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, where he tells us to hold Eucharist. Our sharing of bread and wine is an experience of oneness in church life. It reminds us that God is always with us and that we are with each other.
One of our greatest joys is seeing our oldest child Katherine at the altar taking the bread and the wine. She is only 3, but for those few minutes, though she cannot explain it, she knows that what she is doing is significant. Remarkably, she seems to have learned this on her own. Watching her watch the priest and the chalice bearer, carefully taking the bread in her hand and dipping it, with all of her unpredictable toddler movements removed for that short while, is a powerful experience.
Clark and Jonathan Lee
Columbia, South Carolina
You might also like to read:
- Bible Verse of the Day
- Daily Bible Guide
- Growing in Christ
- Bible Study Tools Online
- The Jesus Walk Bible Study Series
A discussion of today’s Lenten meditation is encouraged. If you would like to participate, please feel free to write a comment in the space below. There are many different outlooks and interpretations of scripture passages and, the more we share, the more we learn.
Sharon is a member of the Community Church of the Midlands that meets at Seven Oaks Community Center at 200 Leisure Lane in Columbia and is a frequent participant, with her husband Douglas, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral located at 1100 Sumter Street in Columbia.
If you enjoyed this article, you can find more at Sharon's Columbia Biblical Studies Examiner homepage.