Most likely in the Synagogue of Capernaum
Northern most part of Israel…north east corner of the Sea of Galilee
Remember, if you will….just a few weeks back….when we talked about how the Sea of Galilee is actually smaller than Lake Mille Lacs.
The Synagogue of Capernaum was reportedly one of the oldest and largest Synagogues in the region.
Ok so all fine and good….but what does that have to do with us today…
I would say it has a lot to do with our understanding of the Gospels of these past Sundays…..
The Bread of life Discourses from Chapter 6 of John’s Gospel have been the source of inspiration and biblical debate regarding the Eucharist since the Church was formed.
Let’s look more closely….
But first lets look at a story which might help us to understand….
There is a story of a young child who woke up in the middle of the night frightened and afraid, he was convinced of the spooks and monsters that seem to be lerking in the darkness…he ran to his parents room explained it all to his parents through his tears. His dad got up, took the boy back to his room and turned on a little night light. He said…son you don’t need to worry, God is with you right here in this room! The little boy looked up at his Dad and said….I know God is here, but right now I want someone who has some skin!”
Flesh and Blood…we kind of shy away from these images don’t we?
We are not cannibals….that is somewhat repulsive…at least to the modern person.
So what was Jesus trying to do and to say? What truth can we uncover as we ponder these stories? There must be some truth here for us…some challenge for us to understand.
So let me ask you….how would you explain to someone the most intimate relationship in your life?
How can we explain our love, total complete and utter dedication to someone?
After studying these texts…I believe in some way what Jesus was trying to convey to the disciples and to us…is the fact that our faith in God, creates in us a bond which is beyond the limitations of words…and is really a bond of our spirits…It may be why Jesus says: Everyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I in them!
Let me ask this question which I hope we can continue to discuss and ponder in the coming week…..
Was the Incarnation of God in Jesus merely a 33 yr. experiment, a one shot incursion by God into human history?
I think not!
The Incarnation was not a one time event…it is an ongoing revelation of God in human history that happens in and through us!
Just think about it a bit….if the Incarnation was a onetime event, there would be no need and no reason for the Pentecost event. Remember a few chapters later in John’s Gospel, on the lips of Jesus are these words…”I have come that you might have life and have it most abundantly!” Jn 10:10 If the inbreaking of God into human history was only experienced in Jesus then there would be no reason for us to gather here each and every week.
The mystery of God is almost mind blowing isn’t it?
What we do and what we celebrate every time we gather as a community in prayer is we remember and we recall and we recreate and we reimagine and we reincarnate the presence of God that dwells in us all. A presence that is not only in the gifts of bread and wine, but a presence that is in every voice, every prayer, every song, every reading, every prayer….
Rev. Colleen often repeats the words of many theologians that have reminded us….that we are the breath of God that God is still breathing.
My friends, the Incarnation continues to happen in each and every one of us, each and every day of our lives. Every time we respond to each other in grace, we give the Incarnation of God skin! And we bring the world one step closer to the image in which we all were created.
Just like the little boy reminds us….I know God is here, but I need someone here who has some skin!
I hope and pray, our world experiences some skin through us this week…maybe you do too?