“Belief needs to be more than just a mental exercise.”
Seminarian Mike Angell ponders “How do you believe this stuff?”, asking Christians about what they think Jesus’s words of John 6 mean. He discusses incarnation, and the fact that “belief” is meant to be more than just a mental exercise. I heard this sermon while attending services at St. Paul’s Cathedral in San Diego, California on August 16, 2009. I still think about this deep question, and about how well Seminarian Angell helps us to relate to these words of Jesus.
Here’s the Gospel reading from John 6: 51-58 (New Revised Standard Version):
Jesus said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” The religious authorities then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 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. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. 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 for ever.”
Listen to Mike Angell’s sermon:
Sermon found on St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral website here.