Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B

Inspired by John 6:51-58

“Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.” John 6:56 (NRSV)

Jesus was a teacher, a preacher, a healer, and an example of humanity at its best. But much more importantly, he was the Son of God, God incarnate, come down from heaven to accomplish the salvation of the world. He was crucified and killed as a criminal, but God raised him from the dead, and he still lives to this day. When we come to worship it is not to fulfill a religious obligation, to have God put a checkmark next to our names on his attendance sheet. It is to come together as the body of Christ, to remember what God has done for us, is still doing for us, and enables us to do in the world. When we eat the bread and drink the wine at communion, it is not simply to remember the Last Supper and the sacrifice Jesus made afterwards; it’s a tangible, physical reminder of who Christ is and what he gave.

The bread and wine of communion is food for the journey. The journey began before we came to be, is what we walk in faith every day and in every aspect of our lives, and will continue long after we’ve left this earth. But because it is the living body of Christ, and we are the living body of Christ, we are participating in something much larger than our own limited span of life.

The body and blood of Jesus Christ strengthens you and keeps you in his grace, in this life and in the life to come.

Let us pray. Living God, you sent your Son for the salvation of the world. Strengthen us with his body and blood, that we will always know who we are and whose we are. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.