John 6:56 "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him."

Simple words, with a profoundly deep truth. For who has to think about eating or drinking, or again who finds it to be strenuous work, --for we are not talking about the preparation, but simply the consumption. The ordinary stuff of life, and one may almost say the same about the 3rd verb, abide,… but of that there is much more to say, and so we begin with what is it?

Abide, to wait for, to continue in a place, to remain stable or in a fixed state, to endure or withstand, to accept without objection. Implying movement when one is not in the right place, and indicating no movement at all once one is there, that is what it is to abide.

On the face of it, it does not seem hard to remain in the same place, often it is seen as a common complaint, and something that needs to be remedied, for the world believes in progress and motion, it is the world that leads us into countless activities that keep us busy,… and in so doing the world keeps pulling us away from anything like abiding,…. except in the wrong place.

And if we are not in the right place, it seems a life long task to find out where we belong, and then to reach that perfect place. Often we fall short, and while we arrive at many places, on arrival, we find that none are truly right. At least, none that we can achieve by our own reason, strength or labor. And that then is the great mystery of the Lord’s Supper, for God comes to u under the form of bread and wine, and takes us from our lost condition, and takes away our sins, and gives us new life, and brings us to the perfect place. And what makes it perfect is simple, we are with God, and we are without fear, and we trust in God, and God provides for us everything that we need.

We could not even come into the presence of God by ourselves. For by ourselves, our sin condemns us, and coming into the presence of God would only bring guilt, share, judgment and condemnation upon us –for such has our sin earned for us. This is why so many people spend their whole lives running away from God –because they have seen their sin, and seen what they have earned, and they are afraid. There are others who do not run away from God, nor do the run from their sin, for their mind is darkened and their conscience is silent – nothing to warn them as they run headlong to their own damnation. This is the state of man, we are born in sin, and by ourselves, we continue in sin.

But God has not left us by ourselves, God has come to us to take from us all evil and to bring us to the perfect place. He has given us faith, and called for us to remain in that place where he has brought us. God has brought us to himself, and calls us to remain the sheep of his pasture and the flock of his hand. That is, when God calls us in faith, and forgives us our sins, he calls for us to abide in the faith into which he has brought us.

And you’d think we would, but all we like sheep have wandered, and we have each gone our own way, we have not abided in the presence of God, nor have we continued in Christ. And this is why we hunger and thirst so for this sacrament, for in it we are redeemed, restored and forgiven.

For the great mystery is not that we abide, but rather, that though we wander, that God abides, and as a good shepherd, calls gathers enlightens sanctifies and keeps us in true faith unto life everlasting.

John 6:56 "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him."

It is not our works which make us worthy, but faith which trusts in the promise of God,