RECAP: BREAD OF LIFE based on John 6:25-51
There is no doubt, that day long ago, that the people had witnessed a miracle. It was a late hour, and many had stayed hours to listen to Jesus. Then a boy offered Jesus his meal of five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus took this meager portion, blessed it and broke it, and passed it around. In the end, five thousand people were fed, and there were twelve basketfuls leftover!
Yet, by the end of the very next day, this crowd of five thousand dwindled down to the Twelve. Many of them said, “This is a hard teaching; who can accept it?” (John 6:60) What caused the crowd to disappear? What truths did Jesus preach that caused a mass departure?
Jesus questioned their attitudes and objectives. It said in verse 15 that the people wanted to make Jesus king. They had a preconceived idea of what the Messiah would do, framed in their political context. The people of Israel at that time believed the Messiah would come, overthrow the oppressor and reestablish Jerusalem as the highest city and Israel as the nation above all others. The people wanted to force Jesus to fit their paradigm, but that was not who Jesus was.
Jesus challenged the “What can you do for me” attitude. This attitude only comes to Jesus when there is a desire or want, and only pledges true allegiance if the desired task is performed. Instead of submitting to Jesus, Jesus submits to us! In this way, we actually try to take the place of God, dictating what God can and cannot do.
Jesus challenged also the “I’ll believe it when I see it” attitude. The people pledged fealty only if Jesus performed another miracle. But this is really an excuse to not follow, to give only a part of ourselves to God. We bail on God as something does not go the way we feel it should.
Finally, Jesus challenged the “feed me” attitude. The people had an opportunity to have more than a full belly. But when Jesus did not meet the appetites and desires of the people, they bailed!
Jesus is the bread of life. He is our very source of living, all we truly need for nourishment. If we go to any other source, we are not feeding on Jesus. Many of us say that we only want Jesus, but when the rubber meets the road, is he all we need? Or do we try to grab hold of something else? Instead, we turn to idols and say Jesus is not enough by our choices and actions.
If a choice lies before us, and we have to choose between Jesus, even if that makes us alone, or something else, what will we choose? What and who do we cling to? We somehow believe that the world can give us a better life, or we can strive for things that do not matter at the end of the day because they make us feel good. But when we strive for Jesus, the deepest longing is filled. But that means letting other things go, even if it is painful or there is deep attachment, and following after Jesus. He is our bread of life; can we partake and enjoy eternal life? Or will we reject the hard call for surrender and discipleship, and leave like the five thousand? The choice is ours.
Questions for Reflection
1) Do we truly believe Jesus is all we need? What bad attitude do we need to confess?
2) What areas compete with Jesus for our attention?
3) What do we cling to that Jesus is calling us to let go of?
4) Do we get offended by Jesus? Do we allow his Word to shape our lives?
This Sunday, Pastor Ryan continued the “I AM JESUS” series with the sermon titled, “Living Water,” based on John 7:25-44. Jesus identified himself as the living water. What does that mean, and how is it important for our faith? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for January 11 – 17
January 11: Leviticus 6:14-23 How does grain and bread assist in redemption?
January 12: Leviticus 24:1-9 What is the purpose of bread in the temple?
January 13: 1 Samuel 21:1-9 How did the consecrated bread bring life to David?
January 14: Matthew 4:1-11 What is our true bread of life?
January 15: Matthew 12:1-14 What is the greatest bread we can receive?
January 16: Exodus 14:1-31 What is the power of the water?
January 17: Exodus 15:22-27 How did God make living water for the people?
This Week’s Events:
Tuesday, January 11–Women’s Fellowship @ 1:30 pm
Wednesday, January 12–Ministry Team @ 7 pm
Sunday, January 16–First Sunday offering for Tornado Relief (rescheduled)
Tuesday, January 18–ALL REPORTS DUE FOR COUNCIL MEETING
Thursday, January 20–Leadership Team @ 7 pm
Sunday, January 23–Church Listening session @ 9:45 am (during Sunday school hour)
Saturday, February 5–Spaghetti Fundraiser for the Whitmore Family, more details TBA
Sunday, February 6–Council Meeting @ 12 pm
Advent Food Baskets
Thank you to all who gave to the food banks! According to Roger, the Stokesville Food Pantry is now serving 34 households!
Whitmore Family Relief
Thank you all for your help so far! Through Sunday’s offerings, over 30,000 dollars have come into the church to help the family! As far as specific needs, we are still in need of a few volunteer families to sign up to provide some meals for the family. They are also in need of two dressers–one for Brian, and one for the girls.
It is truly amazing to see how we as a church and the community have come together to help our friends!
We will have two listening sessions in the coming weeks. The goal of these listening sessions is to provide space for members to share their honest feelings and heart concerning our discernment before we proceed to step four in the process. The first one will take place during the Sunday school hour on Sunday, January 23. The second will take place as part of our regular council meeting on Sunday, February 6. Again, the goal is to be able to listen to the heart of our church.
Our new Bible Study will begin Sunday evening, February 6 at 6 pm at the church and will be every Sunday evening (except February 27) until the study concludes. We will be exploring ways we can grow in our understanding of the Bible. The goal is for us to become even more connected and faithful to God’s Holy Word! If you would like to attend, please email Pastor Ryan or call the church office.
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s stories. We are looking for one person each week, rather than a month at a time. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story).
Call to Prayer & Discernment
Let us continue to pray for our nation in the following ways:
1) National return to God
2) Repentance of personal sin
3) Repentance of corporate sin
4) Healing for the brokenness of relationships
5) Our leaders
7) Guidance for our congregation in the days ahead
Misti Wheelbarger is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour for next year. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to her and let her know.
Four Ways to Give!
1) Mail your tithe into the church office
2) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
3) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
4) Drop off in the offering plate on Sunday!
Continue to Keep in Prayer our members in Skilled Care Facilities: Mary G Miller, Shirley Miller, Stanley Suter & Carolyn Wine
John Bennington (health)
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
John Fix (addiction)
Janet Good (health)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Alda Miller (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Mary G Miller (health)
Marty Moore (recovery)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Pidge Rhodes (health)
Lottie Ritchie (health)
Abbie Shiflet (health)
Chris Shirk (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Whitmore family (fire recovery)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Tom Wilfong (health)
Winne Wilfong (surgery)
Charles Wright (recovery)
Joyce Wright (health)
Owen Wright (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB