Dear St. Mary's Family,
If you look at the words I AM for any length of time, your eyes start to play tricks on you. It begins to look misspelled, or like a letter must be missing. I AM either confirms or solidifies our state of being or our intention. I AM is both forward moving and solidly grounded as a statement. If you look at the words too long, it's hard to believe that so few letters can begin a very consequential sentence. I chose this particular photo to go with my reflection so you can ponder those words clearly, too.
We have many ways of saying I AM: Facebook photos, posts on Instagram or Snapchat or Twitter. These profiles we create project something of who we are or at least how we want others to see us. Jesus didn't have these tools but nonetheless certainly used plenty of images to convey who he was. In John's gospel, in fact, Jesus uses seven of the very best images he could think of to tell us something about God and something about ourselves, too. Jesus's choice of words and images are deliberate and risky, putting him at odds with religious and powerful people, but aligning him with the truth of his identity and the truth about God.
Episcopalians polled nationally have said that the transforming power of the Eucharist - the bread and wine of holy communion-is of critical interest and importance. This weekend begins what's called the 'Bread of Life Discourse.' Jesus will offer a phrase that will shock and enrage and test the faith of his followers: "I AM the bread of life." Jesus is giving us real bread. This is indeed of critical interest and importance. At church this weekend, we'll look at why. Join us and together let us seek this bread always.