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Students sitting outside Bockman
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Friday, August 17, 2018

When Jesus says, "Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in you," we naturally think of communion. As we gather for communion, we taste of eternal life and tell all who would hear of Jesus' death, resurrection and eventual return.

There is a resurrection promise, to be sure, as Jesus says, "I will raise them up on the last day." But communion is also a holy meal that gives life to the living and equips us to live lives of infectious servant love here and now. Some church structures have a communion rail inside that completes a circle with the graves of the saints awaiting resurrection on the outside of the building. I love the imagery that we commune with that great cloud of witnesses. This meal is both for the strengthening of those living and for the sure and certain hope of the blessed dead.

God, as we prepare for the next time we receive the blessings of your meal, bring to our mind your promises. Sustain our faith through this powerful and life-giving sacrament. Bring all who would come to the table. Amen.

Karl Hester, '01
Pastor, Christ the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Salem, Ore.

John 6:51-58 (NRSV)

51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."
52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
53 So Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
54 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day;
55 for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.
56 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.
57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me.
58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever."

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.