Day 19: Om Nom Nom Nom Jesus

John 6:52-59

Common English Bible (CEB)

 52 Then the Jews debated among themselves, asking, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

 53 Jesus said to them, “I assure you, unless you eat the flesh of the Human One[a] and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 My flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in them. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me lives because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. It isn’t like the bread your ancestors ate, and then they died. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.” 59 Jesus said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

Jesus is ridiculously offensive. Like, all the time.

Seriously, it takes some serious chutzpah to talk about eating someone’s flesh and drinking someone’s blood in a synagogue. Not only that, he commands people that if they don’t do it, they don’t get eternal life. No wonder Christians were accused of cannibalism back in the day.

That said, Jesus is trying to do something here, and that thing is not trying to gross us out. He’s trying to get us to realize what it means to be believers in Jesus:

It’s a group effort people. And if we’re going to be together we have to eat and drink together. Therefore, we need to have communion with one another, and in doing so, we better realize the divine reality that God has in mind for us.

I like what Augustine has to say on the matter. Essentially, there’s a reason why he chose bread and wine for the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper.

He’s talking here about the fellowshiup of the saints where there is peace and unity, full and perfect… Bread is a quantity of grains united into one mass, wine a quantity of grapes squeezed together. Then he explains what it is to eat his body and drink his blood: “He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood dwells in me and I in him.” 

The very elements of the table are representative of the kind of life that Christ wants us to live: out of many, one. E Pluribus Unum.

Oh yeah. I'm going there.

The very motto of my country is a profoundly theological statement in and of itself, so I really don’t see why people need to whine and complain about saying that the motto of the country is “In God We Trust.” “E Pluribus Unum” does a much better job of conveying the kind of life that God wants us to have, in my humble opinion.

I know the founders never intended it to be a theological statement, and in fact, they meant quite the opposite. Most of them, informed by the enlightenment, were interested in a secular, but united, country. Heck, Jefferson even went through his bible and edited out all the bits in the gospel that talk about miraculous stuff, so there you go.

But, in my task as a theologian, I try to find God peeking through in just about everything, and to me, this is something that really gets my attention. It’s an idea that conveys an ethos of togetherness and unity, getting beyond petty differences to realize that we are all in this together. Besides, “E Pluribus Unum” its even more specific than “In God We Trust,” at least when it talks about theology.

So you trust in God, eh? Which God is that? The God of money? The God of nationalism? Selfishness? Pride? Greed? You’re not being specific enough for me.

No, my God is the one that says out of bread and wine, with everyone present, we are given new life. Together. Out of many, one. In living, eating, drinking, and working together, and loving one another without reservation, we truly are the kind of people Christ would want us to be.

About grantimusmax

Grant Barnes, aka Grantimus Maximus, aka The Nerdcore Theologian. Currently, he is a PhD Candidate at the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley, California. He is a graduate of Perkins School of Theology with a Masters Degree in Divinity. He graduated from Texas State University Cum Laude with a Bachelor's degree in English, minor in History. He watches way too many movies, reads too many books, listens to too much music, and plays too many video games to ever join the mundane reality people claim is the "Real World." He rejects your reality, and replaces it with a vision of what could be, a better one, shaped by his love for God.
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4 Responses to Day 19: Om Nom Nom Nom Jesus

  1. John says:

    Unfortunately, it is going to take some of those miracles Jefferson cut out for us to live that way, or the coming of some great kingdom like we’ve never seen before.

    And, oh, how I would love to hear Jesus say, “Eat this chocolate chip cookie in remembrance of me.”

    Good post. Stay blessed…john

  2. Phoenix says:

    I think that you may lose something important if you try too much to make Communion into a metaphor for ecclesiastical unity. Churches which forget the gravity of Christ’s words that those who do not eat and drink have no life in them often forget to eat and drink altogether or do so very rarely as an irksome chore that makes church last longer. They fail to recognize it as a directive of the Lord. Worse, however, they fail to recognize that they are trivializing the blood of Christ that was spilt for the and the body of Christ that was broken for them. We are not consuming Christian unity, but Christ Himself. In this way, He brings us into the mystery of His unity with the Father. We are to literally take Him into us as we are taken into Him. This is not the only place where He says that the divine purpose is for us to share in the same interpenetrative relationship that the members of the Trinity share. Now, we are unified by the blood in the same way that each cell in the body is nourished by the homeostatic maintenance of our own blood, but we must not replace unity with the triune God with human unity lest we fall into idolatry.

  3. Naphtali says:

    I absolutely love your theological humor! We need more laughs which is what God has wanted me to do on my blog connecting him with our daily lives from his witty character.

    With your permission i would like to use some of your posts as pingbacks in the future?

  4. grantimusmax says:

    Go for it! I appreciate any pingbacks.

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