Late Summer Year B
Every three years, the Revised Common Lectionary gives us John 6 for five straight weeks, and preachers everywhere suspect things might get a little…stale.
“The Gospel According to Bread” is a preaching and worship series meant to help you find something to chew on.
Here’s our thinking: the temptation with the Bread of Life series is to spend five weeks analyzing how to understand bread as a metaphor for Jesus. But Jesus himself is always pointing his listeners away from an intellectual understanding and back towards a physical experience: “Very 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 6:53)
The emphasis on experience is reflected in the arc of John 6 itself: it starts with a story, the Feeding of the Five Thousand. Stories short-circuit the desire to intellectually explain what’s happening in this discourse. They redirect us from understanding to participation. We encourage you to follow suit, and leverage stories (most centrally, the Feeding) to connect your congregation to the lived experience of life in Christ.
Somewhat paradoxically, we pray that this series frees you from the need to get your people (or yourself!) to totally get Jesus as the Bread of Life. After all, Jesus never requires that his disciples understand what he’s talking about. He feeds first and raises questions later. The disciples who are left by his side at the end aren’t those who have figured out what he’s talking about. They’re the ones who know that no matter how confusing or provoking Jesus is, there’s nowhere else they can go to find the words of eternal life. We don’t always understand Jesus. But we need him, like daily bread, every single day to sustain and satisfy us.
Want to see a sample of the series? You can download a document containing materials for the first Sunday of the series.
Ready to snarf the entire loaf of liturgical love? You can download the whole series FOR FREE from our online store by clicking this here button.