How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35)

Here is the opening paragraph describing the Mennonite view of the Lord’s Supper, as described in the Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective:

We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a sign by which the church thankfully remembers the new covenant which Jesus established by his death. In this communion meal, the members of the church renew our covenant with God and with each other. As one body, we participate in the life of Jesus Christ given for the redemption of humankind. Thus we proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Somewhat in contrast (insert smiley here), John quotes Jesus as saying :

I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever. (John 6:53-58)

Mennonites usually don’t feel desperate to participate in the Lord’s Supper. Perhaps we are like those followers of Jesus who found this teaching too hard, and turned away. Perhaps we are like Peter, who, despite his apparent reservations about this teaching, said “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

(By the way, I happened upon Young Anabaptist Radicals weblog when looking for the confession of faith above. It bears looking into. They seem young, anabaptist, and radical.)

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