Notices for Sunday 16th August 2015

“I’m telling you the most solemn and sober truth now: Whoever believes in me has real life, eternal life. I am the Bread of Life.
John 6:51 (Message)

Help us Father God to keep our focus fully on Jesus that we might have a deep, ongoing, daily relationship.

We welcome our preacher this morning who is Mr David Pickstone
After service tea hosts Betti and Val

Our thanks for the flowers which are given by Vanessa Woolrich in memory of her mother, and brother Albert
Organist: Lydia Edwards

Sunday 23rd August
11.00am        Rev Marian Jones
Vestry Stewards – Ian and Avril
Door Steward – Keith
Tea Hosts – Keith and Myra

Diary Dates

Mon 17th       Every Day with Jesus Bible Study in Lounge 10.30am
Tue 25th      Coffee Morning at Llangollen 10.00am – noon

Tue 1st         Circuit Service at Llangollen 7.30pm

Please pray for the following:
Richard Down
Phyllis Davies
Mark Steene
Gareth Jones
Maurice Anderton
Kay Davies
Vanessa Woolrich

All those who care for those in need.
We thank God for answered prayer and ask that he helps us to understand that all things do work together for good.

Home and World Mission Collection Boxes
Thanks to those who use the collection boxes at home. This year we have collected a total of £81.95 for mission.
That’s not bad is it from mainly 20p, 10p, 5p and 1p coins?
If you don’t have a box and would like one then please see Bob.

Young People Today
Two elderly guests attending a party given by a business associate to mark his daughter’s engagement to a man she had been living with for two years, were grumbling about the decline in moral standards.
‘All these people sleeping together before they’re married,’ one of them said indignantly. ‘I didn’t sleep with my wife before we were married. Did you?’
‘I don’t know,’ replied the other guest. ‘What was her maiden name?’

Hungry, Hungry Humans and the Bread of life
John 6:51-58

One of my children’s favourite games when they were very young was called “Hungry Hungry Hippos.” The game board featured four colourful plastic marble-gobbling hippopotami. The goal, of course, was to be the hungry hippo that eats the most marbles. It was a quick game accompanied by myriad squeals and jostles, one that begged to be played repeatedly. My daughters never questioned why plastic hippos were hungry for marbles; they just knew their plastic friends should eat them with gusto and gumption and speed in order to be declared the winner.

Fortunately, we hungry hungry humans are not engaged in a marble-eating competition. But have we lost our marbles and instead tried to satiate our longing with whatever the world offers us? Are we in search of real food, of food that will fill not only our bellies? Regardless of how we fill the emptiness, we are designed in this “game of life” to crave the bread of life that Jesus offers freely and graciously to all who hunger. Only Jesus can fill our emptiness and satisfy our longings.

This is our fourth week of John’s bread cycle, and things keep getting stranger. In this peculiar passage Jesus talks about eating his flesh and drinking his blood. He says if we do not chomp on his body and blood, we won’t have life in us, but if we will feast on him, he will raise us up on the last day. This is probably not the gospel lesson one would choose for a seeker’s first worship service!

And there’s that whole “abide in me and I in them” notion that Jesus mentions. This is far more than just a game of Hungry-Hungry-Hippo-gimme-marbles. This is about forming a real relationship with the bread of life come down from heaven. But that’s not all.

What Jesus is talking about is participating in a two way relationship, a relationship that requires one to be “all in.” Imagine the difference between taking dainty bites of a tea biscuit and gnawing on a plate of barbequed ribs. It’s about a life of gusto, a life of focused faith, a life with Jesus at the very core of one’s being.

Yes, this is a tough concept to swallow. Just like the religious folk of Jesus’ day, we today have a hard time “digesting” this teaching. Sure we can comprehend the sacrament. We can accept that somehow, some way our hungry, hungry human selves encounter and consume Jesus in this wafer and sip of wine. We can rationalize that in our head and accept it without fully understanding it.

I suppose a question we might ask is this: Can we chew on the Bread of Life in our heart? Can we be all-in as disciples, like a kid playing that silly Hungry Hungry Hippo game? Can we keep our focus fully on Jesus?

Maybe those of us who live in the U.S. can follow the lead of our African-American sisters and brothers who know what it’s like to be hungry for justice, hungry for hope, hungry for an equal place at the table of opportunity, and hungry for Jesus.

It brings to mind an African-American spiritual, “Give me Jesus.” The singer asks to be given Jesus at all times: in the morning, at darkest midnight, break of day, at death, and in song. The words of the chorus are “Give me Jesus, give me Jesus, you can have all the rest, give me Jesus.”

This beautiful spiritual captures what it means to eat and drink the true food that is Jesus. Yes, give me Jesus for a deep, ongoing, daily relationship, nourished in Word and Sacrament, lived out in community. Jesus is the Bread of Life for hungry, hungry humans. Let’s feast!

Rev Sharron Riessinger Blezard, Evangelical Lutheran Church, USA

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