They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven?’” John 6:42
So often the circumstances of our natural birth define us for the rest of our lives. To whom we were born, where we grew up, who raised us, and the villages that surrounded us can make us into something great, or set our course towards failure. Our self-image is constantly being shaped by those around us.
In the text Jesus is offering a new path, a new way of seeing, believing and being. He is offering a change that the world around us can’t see, understand or control. The people who “know” him can’t accept it. They know his daddy and his momma and they simply can’t imagine that God could have chosen this child to be the Savior of the world, the bread of life. As a result those whose vision is blinded by the world’s standards may just starve to death.
Go and look in the mirror right now. Whose child are you? You are God’s child. You are in a great big family of ordinary people through whom God has done, is doing and shall do, extraordinary things. Remind yourself of who you really are as you go throughout your day. Then take this a step further, remove your fault-finding lenses and look for God in the faces and voices and stories of those who seem very different than you.
Oh God, our heavenly parent, we thank you for always using the least likely candidates to do your works. Help us today to eat from the bread of life that cleanses us from the opinions of the unrighteous and reminds us that we are your beloved children. Use us as your instruments to offer this bread to someone else.
Rev. Francine Brookins, Pastor
Wright Chapel AME Church
San Francisco, California