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CALL : +685 24414
FAX 20429
5th Floor John Williams Building
Tamaligi, Apia

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Monday 10 December
Doing the work of God

Read John 6:25–35
Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’ (verse 35)

When someone tells me they do not believe in God, if we have time I ask them to tell me about the God they do not believe in. Often I find that I don’t believe in that God either, especially if they describe a God who tries to buy belief with signs and wonders, and then does a poor job of it so as not to make the sale. The problem with this image of God is that when the blessings dry up, so does the evidence of God’s love. And then the very situations where Jesus is closest to hand – places of grief, illness, violence – seem to be most abandoned by God, as opposed to being the most precious. Who would want to believe in that God? Rejection of that God is surely a sign of health!

Ironically, in our reading today Jesus had just done exactly the kind of sign the people asked for, multiplying bread and fish to feed the five thousand (John 6:1–14). And yet he specifically told the people, ‘Do not work for the food that perishes’ (verse 27). Jesus’ whole point was that the sign was not separate from his person: ‘I am the bread of life’ (verse 35).

Believing in God is not about having one’s rationality bought off with magic tricks or ecstatic experiences, but simply about recognising that God is alongside us in the world as the ‘Son of Man’. Our work is simply to notice God’s presence and that God loves us – this is another word for faith.

† Jesus, Son of Man, give me eyes to see you, ears to hear you in the heart of each moment. Nearer than the breath that eases in me now, may I know your love. Amen