On Friday, I was reading an article about Aretha Franklin and her faith story. In it, it states that no matter what happened in her life, whether it be her health, her music, or her personal life, she always clung to faith in God. As one author put it, “In the end, it’s called faith. It’s how we get over. It’s how we survive the storms. It’s what sustains us, carries us, through the uncertain journey.”¹ Christ, in this Gospels reading, asks us to do the same in a really weird and peculiar metaphor.
Christ says to feed on him, as “whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them,” (John 6:56). While this sounds kind of creepy, Jesus, as in the whole of the Gospel of John, is asking us to have faith. Just as Jesus said a few weeks ago, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, or whoever believes in me will never go thirsty.”
Coming to Christ and believing in Him. That sounds so terribly easy – it’s like we’ve been taught that our whole childhood. Yet, for some people, life’s battles challenge how there could be a God that would allow such bad things to happen. Later in John, Jesus talks about how those who remain in him as branches on a vine, obtain eternal life: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you can bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing…,” (John 15:5).
Jesus was being serious, but in a loving way – he is asking then, and now, to endure in faith. To come unto Christ and his salvation. To endure as Christians does not mean live perfect lives, but to hold unto that promise Christ made when he said all that believe in him will obtain eternal life, free from pain and tears.
And when we come unto Christ, the Son of God, we are never alone. We’ve got God as our Creator, and Jesus as our best friend. We are never alone. We will never go hungry again.
Nothing like coming to Christ and his Salvation coming in play in your own life. This week, my family’s faith was tested to the max. On Thursday, my Mom was assaulted by her ex-boyfriend. Because she fought back, she was also charged with assault. She’s spending time in jail, so far, this weekend because we couldn’t get the money for bail – $500 for a woman defending herself as her ex pulled her hair and dragged her away. That entire night and still today, I’ve been praying to God to get her out of jail. You can certainly say our faith has been tested. But, I’m being reminded once again that God does not leave us. He asks us to come unto Christ and be comforted by the Son of God, who graciously gave his life so that one day there won’t be any more tears. God can’t promise there won’t be pain, but he can promise that Christ will be there for us, if only we seek Christ and endure as Christians!
The Word of the Lord. Alleluia and Amen.
Also, if you want to donate for the bail money for Mom, here ya go: https://www.gofundme.com/q7jqec-help-us-get-our-mom-out-of-jail
- https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/august-web-only/aretha-franklin-died-tribute.html (Article by Robert F. Darden)