“I live because of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, anyone who feeds on me will live because of me. I am the true bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will not die as your ancestors did (even though they ate the manna) but will live forever.”
He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. (John 6:57-59, New Living Translation)
The recent discovery of an earth-like planet far enough from its star to support life has renewed talk about discovering life on other planets. Did you know you can help in the search for extraterrestrial life? The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is a huge scientific research project searching for intelligent life on other planets. You join the SETI search for life by downloading their special software. When you are not using your computer, it will be searching their radio telescope listening data for radio patterns that are signs of life on other planets. Your computer could be the one that finds life on other planets! How cool is that!
If you think about it for a moment, we are all on a search for life. Every person is seeking to live the elusive “good” life. That’s the case in the scripture you read above. Jesus had just miraculously fed a crowd of over 5000 people. The crowd that was following him was quite a diverse collection: old and young, poor and rich, scholarly and common, both open and closed to Jesus. . . but all were searching for life.
Jesus told them that he was the Bread of Heaven sent down by God to give them life. In essence Jesus said, “Don’t think of me like the bread you eat that sustains you for a little while, but doesn’t have the power to stave off death. Instead, know that if you partake in me, your life will never end.” Jesus told them further that his words came from God and that they gave life.
He proclaimed to them good news for their search for life. John, the writer of this Gospel proclaims it to us as well. Jesus is the promised Savior sent by God, in fact sharing the very essence of God. The deliverance all people are longing for has been accomplished through Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Bread of Heaven that has come to nourish our souls and lead us into eternal life . . . the good life.
As a church, our goal is to help everyone come to believe and know that Jesus Christ is the Holy One of God. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Word of God and that his words give life. The Christian Education ministry of our congregation is important because, in learning God’s Word, we are pointed toward a life-saving relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s important also because of our life in this moment. . . God’s Word enriches us with wisdom and guidance for life in the here and now. We’re given an opportunity to choose the direction we will search for the true and good life . . . will it be out somewhere in the world or the stars, or will we search in the life-giving words of Jesus?