PASTOR MATTHEW’S REFLECTIONS:
Today's theme is about “commonness”, “regular-ness”, ”normal-ness” and how God invests and incarnates Godself into the regular and common and small things to produce redemption for the world.
As we continue along in John's Bread of Life discourse this week, Jesus is starting to lay it on pretty thick. In today's reading He proclaims that He is the Bread of Life no less than 3 times in 16 short verses but the crowds, who have so much to teach us, aren't buying it. It's sometimes hard for the modern reader who can never get far enough behind the resurrected Jesus to see Jesus the man. It is even harder to imagine Jesus as a little boy running around the village, playing with the other kids, getting into trouble, laughing, crying etc. just like any other normal kid, but this surely happened. In today's gospel we hear the testimony of the people who witnessed that very thing, Jesus as a regular little boy, teenager and young man. And these firsthand witness' aren't buying the "I am the bread of life...for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me."
Instead, they begin to talk amongst themselves "Isn't that Jesus, Joe and Mary's boy from just down the street by the big olive tree?" What is he talking about "I've come down from heaven", we saw him playing with our own kids in these very streets!? They aren't wrong. Jesus the man is, by all accounts a regular guy with a normal upbringing, nothing special.
And this is where we often find the Lord of Hosts isn't it? We don't find God in palaces, surrounded by gold and riches and powerful armies, we find God in tents in the desert, surrounded by starving people on the run from political and religious persecution. We find God in the womb of barren grandmothers and unwed teenage girls. We find God is regular people called to do extraordinary things. We find God in simple, regular, nothing special, bread and wine and water.
And why do we find God there?
Because God is about the redemption of everything, all matter, all of creation...EVERYTHING and God does not despise anything that God has made. Isn't that hopeful!?