In a recent conversation the subject of Amish and Mennonite beliefs and theology came up. One of the things we discussed was how the Amish strive to keep the influences of the outside world from entering their homes (one of the reasons for a reluctance to use public utilities, etc). Later while reading through John 6 I began to think about how there might be some value to this type of thinking. Not that we need to cut the power lines to our home — but maybe we have put ourselves in the position of being overwhelmed by the world’s influences at the cost of dulling our hunger for God.
Kyle Idleman refers to this as “being stuffed but not satisfied”. In John 6:27 we are warned by Jesus: 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures(W) to eternal life,(X) which the Son of Man(Y) will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal(Z) of approval.”
Ever wonder why missionaries in places like Haiti, The Amazon, or Africa tell of worship services that last for hours — when our experience can seldom go beyond 55 minutes before the audience is restless? I know I observed this in my travels to foreign missions and have often wondered why American churches are so time driven.
Perhaps it is because in these other cultures there is little else to do. On a recent trip to Brazil we built a church building for a new church plant. When I asked how they would get the church started I was told that as word of the construction spread there would be “onlookers” who would come. In fact–some came and joined in the work as the building was nearing completion. These helpers and onlookers were told to go home and tell their friends there would be a church service Saturday night about 4 pm (the time was approximate but they managed to be early).
I asked what would cause the people who to this point have had no contact with the church to come? The answer — what else is there to do on a Saturday night in this village? Granted the ground work had been laid via the medical trips the mission had made and the treatment being given all week as the building was under construction — but the fact remained — the people had time to come and “check it out”.
We have filled our lives with so much “stuff” that is often hard to hear God calling. If we do hear — He needs to talk fast — we have things to do and people to see….. John 6
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am(AI) the bread of life.(AJ) Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes(AK) in me will never be thirsty.(AL) 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.
53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh(BJ) of the Son of Man(BK) and drink his blood,(BL) you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.(BM) 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.(BN) 57 Just as the living Father sent me(BO) and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.
60 On hearing it, many of his disciples(BQ) said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”
Should we get a bit more “Amish” in our life? Strip away some of the “stuff” that keeps us from accepting what God is trying to say?……..