Eat This, Not That – Pastor Jane – 8.5.2018

Many of us have favorite restaurants – ‘go to’ places for special occasions. Maybe even a favorite meal or a particular food that we enjoy… I have to admit, I’m a creature of habit. Some people remember vacations – or occasions – by meals they’ve eaten… Some even post pictures on Facebook or social media… Just to be clear, I’m not one of those people.

Our lessons this morning talk about food…and show us the ways that God provides nourishment for his people. God cares for his people in the wilderness and satisfies their hunger, both day and night. God provides each of us gifts that strengthen us as individuals, and as a community of believers. These gifts reveal our unique selves, that together make us a rich and diverse church, that together make us this Family of Faith. God is constantly providing for us – calling us to be the servant Body of Christ in this time and place – in this church and this community.

I was looking at the calendar for the coming month when I was in on Friday and was struck by the countless ways the Family will be working to proclaim the Gospel in the coming weeks sharing God’s love and God’s Word. Soup Kitchen next week…hosting our Hospitality Guests early next month…the AIDS Center a few weeks later…ongoing Backpack collection…Immigration and Advocacy…in so many ways giving living witness to the Gospel.

God provides for us in the most loving way, through the gift of his son – through the gift of Jesus Christ. It’s the bread in the being of Jesus that fills our hunger…and it’s his sacrifice on the cross that satisfies our thirst…giving us the strength we need to live together as a people of faith and to be the church. God provides for us in our daily lives as we struggle day to day challenged by a world that is so often counter to a life of faith.

In an effort to remain viable in a secular world that’s become increasingly less interested in organized religion, the church continues to re-form itself, to re-create itself in ways that it hopes will resonate with the surrounding community. There are churches that support a variety of outreach and mission – and some that promote a particular cause for social justice. Others begin with a few members around a common interest or mutual support of one another within the community. Regardless of the form in which the church gathers to worship and proclaim the Gospel, Christians are connected through the waters of baptism and nourished by the meal of Christ’s body and blood.

In one of my favorite lessons, Paul’s powerful words this morning remind us again of our oneness – the individuality of every one of God’s people – that creates the unity of the church. It’s this unity that brings us together in the image, in the likeness of Christ to be the body of Christ in the world.

As we gather in a little bit to share the bread of life in God’s meal, we are reminded of the gift that is ours through Jesus Christ. And together as we’re seated at God’s table feasting in communion with all the saints, we do so reminded of the promise of eternal life. It is this gift of Christ, a sign of God’s abundant love and God’s good grace, that transforms us and enables us to live each day filled with the hope of Easter. Amen.