this is a hard teaching. who can accept it?

On Sunday night our family read part of John chapter 6. Jesus is telling his followers that he is the living bread that came down from heaven. "If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." He continues to tell of eating his body and drinking his blood, explaining communion for the first time. When he is done many of his disciples say, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?"

Jesus hears the grumbling and calls them out, "does this offend you?" And in that moment, many of his followers turned away. He turned to the twelve and asked if any of them wanted to leave too.

And Simon Peter answers, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."

***

About the time that we were reading this passage, our friend Tiffany was taking her last earthly breath.

Her death feels like such a mighty blow. She is my age, mother of five, partner in everything with her husband and spent her last eight years planting a church, building community and leading many wandering hearts to the Lord.

But her life was not spared.

This is a hard, hard teaching. Who can accept it?

The reading from John 6 has been such a comfort to me these past few days. Because I appreciate Simon Peter's response so much. In the midst of confusion and not understanding, trying to make sense of something that utterly did not make any sense he says the most honest words, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."

I've seen too much. I know too much. I've heard too much. I've experienced too much. I believe in Jesus with my whole heart and have seen his power transform hearts and lives. To whom shall I go? I know the one who is the way to eternal life.

My heart is so heavy and grieved. Those kids. Her husband. She wanted to be raising her kids today. She wanted to be cleaning up breakfast right now. I have been convicted many time this past week not to take a moment for granted. Tiffany herself used to say frequently from up front, "If you have breath in your lungs and a pulse on your wrist, you have been given a gift today." And then she'd go on to tell of The One who gave that good gift.

The other thought I continue to have is that Tiffany, herself, would at this moment testify that Jesus is more real to her right now than ever before. She would nod and say, "Amen" to those words, "Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."

And now with full trust in God to be the comforter, we pray for Jeff, her husband, Bo, Finn, Sally, Noah and Jack. Ages 4-14. What a grievous loss. 

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