I see him, mariner Jesus, walking on corrupted waters of the Danube while down in silted depths lurk the unexploded bombs of lately wars; I walk out, hand in hand with the poem, crossing on the high redemption bridge, to earth corrupted by tar and concrete, where down in the darkly shiftless soil words crawl, eyeless and eager. Between sleep and day, light and black, I grow conscious of compelling truths— but something in the ego-wassailing of flesh compels me back to comfort, and something in the slippery eel-mud of the mind eases towards sleep, though always Jesus plods on over all the corrupted waters heading for the unforgiving hill, for his piercing cry of forgiveness out-into-the-outraged world.
This year, as many years before, I planned my summer vacation schedule with this stretch of lectionary readings from John 6 in mind. I suspect I am not alone. Five straight weeks of chewing on the bread of life is just a little more than most of us Protestants can stomach. I’m not sure I have that many sermons on the subject in me. So please take my reflections here with a grain of salt. I’ll share with you what I can, but then I’m off to the airport.
Jesus and Elisha perform great miracles. What do we modern westerners do with this?
It’s possible you come from a church background in which the obvious takeaway is to pray for God to do the same thing in our lives here and now. Or maybe you believe such events are still possible, but less probable.
In any case, most of us preachers want to avoid suggesting that the difference between then and now is our lack of faith.