The theme for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost is Eat and Live. His own people, the Jews, grumbled when Jesus told them that He is the Bread of Life that came down from heaven. They saw Him only as a man, not the Savior who had been promised from the very beginning in the Garden of Eden after the Fall (Genesis 3:15). Their own expectations of God’s promised Deliverer blinded them to the fact that He was standing before them.
Christ Jesus offers His gift of eternal salvation to all who will receive it. He calls them, and the Father draws them to Him. But some, because of the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their sin, reject the good gift that God has for them. May we ever nourish our faith through our regular church attendance, hearing the word of God preached and proclaimed, and receiving the body and blood of Christ.
Monday, 3 August 2009—Psalm 34:8–10; Antiphon, Psalm 145:16—The antiphon should be familiar to us, as it is part of the prayer before a meal which Luther included in the Catechism. The psalmist David then says to taste and see that the Lord is good. How are we to do this? St Peter tell us that we should be like newborn infants, longing for the pure spiritual milk. We have tasted that the Lord is good, for we have heard His Word of forgiveness and salvation, we have eaten of His Holy Supper, and we long for more.
Tuesday, 4 August 2009—Psalm 34:1–8—The psalm appointed for next week is one taken from a bizarre incident in the life of David, when he pretended to be insane before Achish, a Palestinian king in the line of Abimelech. The entire story is recorded in 1 Samuel 21:10-15. David exhorts us to extol the Lord at all times, for as the Lord delivered David in answer to his prayer, so He also has delivered us from sin, death, and the devil.
Wednesday, 5 August 2009—1 Kings 19:1–8—Despite the fact that the Lord had shown that He alone is the true God in Elijah’s showdown with the prophets of Baal, wicked Queen Jezebel clung to her false gods and sought to kill Elijah. To escape, Elijah fled to the wilderness near Beersheba. There, the Lord fed him with bread. The Lord feeds us also; not through the ministrations of an angel, but by farmers, truckers, stock-boys, and grocery-store clerks. “God gives daily bread to everyone…we pray that He would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.”
Thursday, 6 August 2009—Ephesians 4:17—5:2—In this section of our reading from the book of Ephesians, St Paul tells us that, since we have been set free from bondage to sin and death, we should live outwardly in way that reflects our new life in Christ. We are to live as children of light, no longer living in the darkness of sin. Those in the world ought to see a difference in how Christians live versus how the rest of the world lives. As children of God, we imitate God, not the ways of the world.
Friday, 7 August 2009—John 6:35–51—“I am the Bread of Life,” declares Jesus. The bread that He gives is better than earthly bread, for that can only sustain the body while we sojourn in this earthly vale of tears. The bread that Jesus gives—the bread that Jesus is—sustains our souls for all eternity. Jesus gives Himself for the life of the world.
Saturday, 8 August 2009—Again this week, the hymn of the day is O Living Bread from Heaven (LSB 642). This second stanza proclaims that we have been led by the Lord to His house to receive His good gifts of forgiveness. We could not, and do not, do this on our own, but He leads us, and then feeds us with Word and Sacrament. The ‘food’ we receive in the Divine Service is better than the food we eat daily at our meals, for it is food that gives eternal life.
Collect for Pentecost 10—Gracious Father, Your blessed Son came down from heaven to be the true bread that gives life to the world. Grant that Christ, the bread of life, may live in us and we in Him, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
This week's Time in the Word is written by Pr. Jeffrey Keuning who is the pastor of St. John's Casey and Zion, Dexter, IA