• Pastor Linda

Will We Continue? - John 6:69 - March 15, 2020

Bertoldo de Giovanni is a name even the most enthusiastic lover of art is unlikely to recognize. He was the pupil of Donatello, the greatest sculptor of his time, and became the teacher of Michelangelo, the greatest sculptor of all time.

Michelangelo was only 14 years old when he came to Bertoldo, and it was already obvious that he was enormously gifted. Bertoldo was wise enough to realize that gifted people are often tempted to coast rather than to grow, and therefore continued to pressure his young prodigy to work seriously at

his art.

One day he came into the studio to find Michelangelo toying with a piece of sculpture far beneath his abilities. Bertoldo grabbed a hammer, stomped across the room, and smashed the work into tiny pieces, shouting this unforgettable message, "Michelangelo, talent is cheap; dedication is costly!"

It’s easy to coast through life–doing just enough to get by. We see it in every aspect of our culture. Even in our Christianity.

Today’s question is “Will We Continue?”

Jesus was talking to many disciples when he told them that he was the bread of life. He continued by saying, “Your forefathers ate the manna in the dessert, yet they died. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. He went further saying, “This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

Those that were gathered around could not understand this. And on hearing it many of the disciples “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”

Perhaps you and I can understand this hard teaching because we know that through the Holy Spirit ever time we enter into Holy Communion we know that Jesus gave his life for all. Yet, at the time in which Jesus was speaking to the crowd of disciples they did not understand.

Today I wonder, what are we thinking is Hard? It is the FEAR of what is happening, in our world as we hear about the Coronavirus and the various thing that are happening. Without belief in Christ, and dedication each of us CAN give up. Yet, we know that the Holy Spirit brings forth Life. The Scripture from Philippians 4:13 says “I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.” Having Christ in our life gives us comfort and changes our life for the better. Philippians 4:6 helps us in this troubled time, “Do Not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.” One of my requests is that we can be Hope filled people and not let what is going on around us make us fearful and anxious. If you start feeling over overwhelmed and anxious allow it to STOP and pray to the Holy Spirit who gives us direction. As a friend said to me: We do not know the future, but we know who holds the Future. God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. This gives us HOPE to do our best as faithful Christians in the world.

For all of us, It’s easy to coast through life–doing just enough to get by. But, Jesus asks more than that. We are called to give our very best, being dedicated disciples. We must pray and connect to God. We must read the Bible so that we know Christ more fully and let Christ show us how to live. And we must ask the Holy Spirit to give us strength and energy as we walk forward knowing we can’t give up.

During this season of Lent let us think about our relationship with Christ. Ponder on these questions:

How am I learning more about Christ?

What does Christ asks of Me?

Am I asking the help of the Holy Spirit to continue to be a disciple of Christ?

As we move to the Cross this season we have a choice. We can do just enough to get by or we can devote ourselves to Christ and be the disciples we are called to be in the world. In the hardest times people are looking to see those who are faithful and non anxious. Let us show them God through us.



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