Preaching without preaching

For several weeks this summer the gospel readings have all been from the 6th Chapter of John’s Gospel. This means that for more than a month the central theme is the same. In one way or another we are told, “Jesus is the bread of life.” Every three years these readings come along and with every other pastor who follows the lectionary I roll my eyes wondering how many times I can say the same thing a little differently.

Still, it should not be all that surprising. This is the church that celebrates the gift of Easter for seven consecutive Sundays every spring.

The truth of the matter is we need reminders of these basic gifts of Jesus. We need repetition as well, so we don’t just remember but live the reality of the gift of Jesus.

Maybe it is like driving to a new place. The first time you let Siri give you turn by turn directions from start to finish. Drive there a couple times and you keep playing the directions, but don’t really pay attention. And then one day you get in the car to drive there and you are halfway there when you realize you didn’t even think about getting directions. You just know where to turn now.

Jesus is living bread. This Jesus who teaches, preaches, suffers, dies and rises that we might have life. Now. Today.

This is the good news promise we need to hear again and again until it becomes part of who we are so deeply we don’t even stop to think about it, we just know it and live it.

In the meantime, don’t worry if your memory is short, or life’s challenges give you pause. We’ll be here, Sunday after Sunday to proclaim the hope and promise of Jesus and celebrate that good news together.



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