The Gospel According to Bread Preachers’ Notes

The Gospel According to Bread:
Preacher’s Notes

Pastoral Considerations for John 6

There are several considerations we tried to hold as we prepared materials for this series: antisemitism, disordered eating, diet culture and fatphobia, allergies and intolerances, and sensitive hymn choices (content warning for mention of sexual abuse). We hope you’ll let us know if there are places we failed to do it, or could have done it better.

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Week One: Feeding of the 5000

There are some things you only get once they have happened to you. There are some teachings you just have to do before you can know. Some of the deepest truths can’t be merely talked about; they must be embodied. When have you had an experience like that? One that taught you something that a book just couldn’t quite get at? An experience that embodied a deep truth?

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Week Three: “I am the Bread of Life”

Jesus chooses to use that common stuff as a vehicle for revelation; this Sunday, you might consider following suit. Attending to the stories that are literally baked into bread can form us in readiness to encounter the Bread of Life.

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Week Four: “My flesh is true food”

There is a limit to words. I can tell you about the beautiful aliveness of bread, the experience of watching it rise, the way its crust fills the kitchen with the tiny sound of crackling as it cools. I can tell you how it fills me. I can tell you about the gospel according to bread: that life gives life, that it’s full of grace and fully embodied, that God has a perfectly imperfect body like ours and calls our bodies good. But words describing bread and God won’t feed you by themselves.

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Week Five: “You have the words of eternal life”

In today’s text, no one really understands Jesus’ teaching except for Jesus. Even the twelve are at a loss. Most of the crowd chooses to respond to their discomfort by leaving, but Simon Peter speaks for the twelve when he throws up his hands and says, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.” We don’t understand any of this, Jesus, but we’ll keep walking with you. You satisfy our hunger, even if you feed us with discomfort.

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