From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 13th Sunday after Pentecost

Hi everyone,

So this past week has been eventful. It was my first week back after a nice refreshing holiday, bringing with it a bunch of extra work just catching up that was tackled in a very inefficient “holiday-brain” manner. It was also very hot for like half the week, and some of the smoke from the wildfires wafted our way making us have to close our windows, making indoors even hotter meaning concentrating was darned near impossible. And to top it all off (and this is a good thing), I got my car back on the road after a year of sitting in the garage and I keep thinking that I want to go out for a drive, which I can’t because of the work that I already talked about.

To be honest, it was a bit disappointing. I know, total first world problem, but it’s been a whole year (and three and a half weeks) since I actually was able to take my car out onto a long stretch of highway or even the windy roads of an undetermined location that I don’t wish to reveal openly. But it was like all this pent up anticipation was ready to release once I got that new insurance sticker but then wasn’t able to be released for various reasons.

But the good news is that I still love the drive. Even if it’s just to the office and back (which it literally has only been this past week), I can still have the experience of being behind that wheel, strapped into my seat, feeling the responsiveness of the throttle as the rubber and suspension keeps me dug into the asphalt on those sharp speed-limit turns (I make about 15 of them in this long weird way I take home from work). It’s not exactly the same, but it reminds me of what it is I love about driving, and I am supremely glad that I finally insured that vehicle so I have at least the chance of going out for that drive again.

But enough about me, here are the readings for next week:
Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18
Psalm 34:15-22
Ephesians 6:10-20
John 6:56-69

It kind of sounds to me like Jesus’ followers and disciples are pretty disappointed here too. Sure, they might not love driving like I do (or riding a donkey or camel or whatever), but I would imagine that they did love Jesus, and this whole “eat my flesh” thing was just a bit too much for them.

If you remember, the past few weeks was all about Jesus being the bread of life. He talks about how we need to eat that bread for us to live. He gets into the fine details of flesh eating. Yes, it is as gross as it sounds.

And so some of the disciples bail. They can’t handle it. It was too much of a disappointment for them and they decide to call it quits. But Jesus looks at the famous 12 disciples and asks them if they want to skip out as well.

“Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.

In other words, “Jesus we love you. You aren’t what we expected and maybe we are a bit disappointed. But you are still you and your teachings still give us life. There is no where we would rather be than to be with you.”

Or, at least I think that is what Peter means. I know that is what I felt about my car, and I can imagine that I would feel that way about Jesus should the situation arise. The point is that we are sometimes disappointed by things, be it an unmet expectation, a relationship that didn’t go as planned, or even poor smoky weather that doesn’t lend well to combustion engines. But in that disappointment we are able to remember who we love and why we love in the first place.

And perhaps then we might see that it isn’t disappointment anymore, but rather just a pause in the good that is yet to come. I mean, where else can we go but cling onto the giver of eternal truths and gracious peace?

Thanks be to God! I hope and pray that all of you have a better week than my last one has been going!

Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash

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