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“Eat my flesh and drink my blood.”

“My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.”

“Eat my flesh and drink my blood. “

Who would say this kind of thing?  Who would say it over and over again?  We find it repulsive and react to the statement with revulsion.  Some mad man or raving lunatic must be be spouting off.  Best just to ignore him and get far, far away.

Until we realize Jesus said these strange words.  Wow. Now we need to take a step back and ask ourselves, “What on earth is he talking about?”

Jesus said these words to a bunch of Jews who were chasing him all over Galilee.  He had miraculously multiplied a few fish and some bread into enough food to feed a small army, and now the crowd who had stuffed themselves were after more food. They wanted another free lunch. Jesus wanted to give them much more. Food to nourish their souls and renew their spirits.

Jesus wanted change their perspective, to shake up their understanding of him, to rock their world, so he says to them in John chapter 6, ” Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life….My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink….Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in them. “(verses 54-56)

If that sounds bizarre to us it would have sounded absolutely scandalous to the Jewish crowd who heard him utter those words.  Their law strictly prohibited any such thing as eating human flesh and drinking any type of blood.  It’s no wonder then that John tells us later on in the chapter that many of his disciples turned back and followed him no more. Jesus asked his 12 closest disciples if they wanted to leave him as well. Peter answers for the group saying, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

We are fast approaching Good Friday.  The evening before the crucifixion Jesus gathered with his dozen disciples to eat the Passover meal. It is at this dinner that we can better understand what Jesus was talking about – all that eating flesh and drinking blood stuff.

Jesus takes some bread and breaks it and tells the twelve that the bread represents his body, his flesh, and they are to take and eat.  He lifts a cup of wine and instructs his followers that the wine is his blood, the blood of a New Covenant, and they are all to drink it.

Two thousand years later we are still eating his flesh and drinking his blood, remembering his crucifixion and celebrating his resurrection. Living abundant, joyful, happy lives as a result.  I guess his words weren’t so crazy after all.


In Mexico Mothers day is always on May 10th, and in America it’s always the second Sunday in May.  Moms_Day__Arvin61r58This year they are both the same day.  Remembering our mothers is a big deal in both countries.  We remember the love they showed us, the hugs and prayers, the special meals they made for us, the bedtime stories and a hundred other things that each of us have tucked away in our hearts when we think of MOM.  We honor our mothers in special ways on  her special day.  I always send flowers to my mother and call her on this special day, because, after all, she is the most wonderful mother in the world.

We not only have a special day to remember Mom, but we have certain days throughout the year when we remember important people and events in our history.  We have days to honor soldiers who have given their lives for their country.  We have Memorial Day in which we remember loved ones that have passed on.  Remembering special people and events seems to be much more important in Mexico than in the United States.  In the U.S. we have some holidays to remember people and events, but a lot of times they are excuses for three day weekends and not a lot of remembering actually takes place.

My six year old daughter, Sally, is part of the flag team at her kindergarten.  Every Monday she marches with her team at the start of the school day.  Every child sings the Mexican national anthem and recites their pledge of allegiance.  Throughout the school year her flag team joins all the other flag teams of Tlacolula, Mexico, in different places around town to honor and remember important people and events in Mexico’s history.  Naturally, Anita and I take Sally to these events.  Here is a list of all the ceremonies zapatawe attended this last school year:
Death of the boy heroes, Shout for Independence, Independence day, Consummation of independence, United Nations day, Anniversary of the Mexican Revolution, Anniversary of Mariano Matamoros, Constitution day, Anniversary of Vicente Guerrero, Birth of Benito Juarez, Death of Emiliano Zapata and finally, the Battle of Puebla.

That is a lot of remembering.  I like it.  At each ceremony the leaders of the town are in attendance, and someone gives a speech about the significance of the person or event that is being celebrated.  All of these ceremonies take place every year, to insure that the people, especially the children, know their history.  When people know their history, they have a better sense of who they are and where they came from.

Remembering is important to God and the Bible.  In the Old Testament, God is forever telling his chosen people to remember.  Their greatest failures occurred when they forgot.  They forgot Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  They forgot the Passover, they forgot crossing the Jordan River into the Promised Land.  They forgot how God delivered their enemies into their hands.  They forgot the Law of God.  Most importantly they forgot God himself.

Remembering is important in the New Testament as well.  When Jesus had his Last Supper with the last supperdisciples, he held up the cup of wine and the bread, and said, “Do this in remembrance of me.”  When we partake of Holy Communion, we remember Christ’s broken body and blood shed on the cross for the remission of sins.  We remember that because of the sacrifice of Jesus, we live joyous lives in right relationship with our heavenly Father.  We remember that He loves us and wants us to be happy.  We remember who we are and how we got here.  Let’s never forget.

This post is dedicated to my wonderful mother, Carolyn Schwab.  I love you Mom!
*****          *****          *****          *****

Lest I forget Gethsemane,
Lest I forget Thine agony;
Lest I forget Thy love for me,
Lead me to Calvary.                              Jennie E. Hussey

Why Am I Here?

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