This is the work of God that you believe in him whom He sent (John 6; 24 – 35)
“What is life for? “questioned Leo Tolstoy that famous Russian writer of the last century, “To die? To kill myself at once? No , I am afraid. To wait for death till it comes? I fear that even more. Then I must live. But what for? In order to die/ And I could not escape from that circle.”
“Why was I ever born?” Job asked in the midst of his excruciating suffering. Job was discovering, as many of us do in this vale of tears that the most atrocious and destructive type of suffering is that which the victim realizes no meaning or purpose to his or her suffering.
The primary purpose of our Lord’s sojourn on this planet was to point out life’s meaning , to reveal order and purpose in life’s activity, and to direct men and women inextricably entangled in nets of their making back to the orbit and destiny for which they were created – the eternal purpose of God. He first had to break through the thick crust of materialism that numbs most of God’s creatures to eternal and infinite values. “ Do not labor for the food which perishes,” He exhorts. He is not condoning lethargy and indolence, but is rebuking the excessive attention we place on labour designed to fill one’s belly and increase one’s wealth of possessions at the sacrifice of spiritual and eternal values.
“Do not place the focus of your life or set your ultimate goals upon bread or material worth or anything which may perish within the moment or the hours.” Reach out, instead, “for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you.” And then Jesus points this up by saying; “This is the work of God that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”
When Jesus becomes the Bread of life for us, we become bread to others about us. This then becomes our purpose in life and gives present, perpetual, eternal meaning to life.
Thank you, Jesus, for granting life to me, and for teaching me how to live again. Amen.
(Taken from Online Sermons of the Rev. Canon Ann M. Smith )