take-and-eatYou’ve got to eat to live, and some diets promote life better than others. For example, the all-fried-chicken-and-cake diet isn’t going to leave you as fresh and healthy as the all-cabbage-and-low-fat diet (although you may be happier on the other). For as long as I can remember there has been a yearly frenzy about one new diet or another. Our hope at Crossroads is to be part of a movement to make a different diet all the frenzy: the Communion Diet.

Jesus advocates this diet plan in John 6. Here is a short breakdown:

  • The meal plan consists of Jesus’ flesh and blood.
  • The food is absolutely free, provided at the expense of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • The food never goes bad – it is imperishable.
  • The benefits are eternal life beginning now and a perfect body at the resurrection.
  • It energizes you to live life for the right reasons.
  • 100% satisfaction is guaranteed.

The reason it is called the “communion” diet plan is because of the relational nature of it. It is actually a feeding upon Jesus in the deepest of intimate relations. Or, to put it in other terms, by trusting in Jesus, we enter into a moment-by-moment daily transaction of receiving life from the Father through the Son and by the Holy Spirit. This is what it means to feed on Jesus.

Of course, if you have been around church long enough, you are thinking of the Lord’s Supper or Communion. You should. Those who first read the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John would’ve been thinking of it also. During our faithful participation in the Lord’s Supper, we actually are fed the living and resurrected Christ by the mysterious power of the Holy Spirit. Although God’s people are always in union with Jesus Christ, there is a special way in which the Church communes with Jesus at the Table. Maybe it’s something like living in your family’s home all year but really deeply relating with everyone over Thanksgiving dinner.

Not only do we deeply commune with the Triune God at the Lord’s Table, eucharistbut we also keep the main thing the main thing. A church can easily become centered around lots of peripheral issues, but the Communion Diet keeps us focused on what’s important: the Trinity, the Incarnation, the atonement and forgiveness, the resurrection and eternal life, salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone to the glory of God alone.

QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION

  • Have you ever become bored with diets you’ve been on? Why?
  • Can one become bored with God’s Diet Plan? How come?
  • What kinds of emotions well up when you hear Jesus say that you must eat his flesh and blood (John 6:53)?
  • Put in your own words what Jesus means by feeding upon his flesh and blood based on 6:56-57.
  • Think of a neighbor, co-worker, or family member who is not on this Diet Plan. If you were to tell them about how to get on this Diet Plan, what would be the most important element to emphasize for them?