John 6

I think this is one of the most difficult chapters in the entire Bible (and I’m not just saying that because I once wrote what I thought was a brilliant paper on it, and when my professor read it he said, “Um, I can give you more time to work on this, if you want…”). Sigh.

Anyway, in re-reading it today, I’ve noticed how frequently the followers don’t get what Jesus is saying. He feeds five thousand people with just a few scraps of food, and the people are like, “Cool! You should be our king!”; he walks on water, and the disciples are like, “Dude, seriously, get into the boat”; he talks about the bread of life, and a lot of the followers turn away, saying, “This is a hard teaching, who can accept it?” (v. 60).

Here’s what I’m hanging onto this morning, even though I know I frequently miss what Jesus is saying (and I STILL don’t totally get this chapter): After some of the followers leave, Jesus turns to the twelve disciples and says, “Are you guys leaving me, too?” But they answer, “Where else would we go? You’re the only one who speaks Truth.”

Sometimes it’s hard to believe in Jesus—but where else would we go?

Lent Log

John 4:1-42

The “Woman at the Well” is one my all-time favorite stories—and I think my favorite part is when Jesus tells the woman to go get her husband, and she’s like, “Um, I don’t have a husband.” (She was living with a guy, at least the 6th in a long line of relationships—and in the ancient world, this was incredibly shameful.) 
But Jesus doesn’t freak out: he’s like, “Yeah, I know you’ve had 5 husbands.” (I picture Jesus just sort of shrugging.) He doesn’t want to talk about the past; instead, he wants to talk about her future.

Jesus doesn’t judge us for where we’ve been. He just wants to walk with us wherever it is that we’re going.

Lent Log

John 3:22-36

John’s gospel occasionally goes off on tangents, like this one that doesn’t really seem to fit with the other stories. But don’t get distracted. Look at v. 34: “He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without measure.”

We can trust Jesus, John says, because we see that the Spirit of God works through him.

Lent Log

John 3:1-21

Nicodemus wanted to talk to Jesus, but he was afraid of what his friends, the other Pharisees, would think. So he came secretly, at night, to ask Jesus several questions—which Jesus took time to answer carefully.

Sometimes it’s not cool to be Christian, and sometimes we worry about what our friends will think about our faith. Jesus understands that.

I think Jesus is willing to meet us wherever we are.

Lent Log

John 2:1-12

The Wedding at Cana—where Jesus turns water into wine—is one of my favorite stories. I always forget how much wine was actually involved: 8 jars, EACH holding 20 to 30 GALLONS.

Jesus doesn’t do anything small-scale.

Lent Log

John 1:19-51

I think I’d sum up this section as “the Spirit helps us find.”

I’d never noticed v. 33 before; Jesus goes to the Jordan River to be baptized, and John the Baptist says, “I did not know him.” I thought that John had already met Jesus—but he hadn’t. He only recognizes Jesus because the Spirit “remained” on him.

I’m not saying I totally get what that means or how John knew it was the Holy Spirit or how it could “remain” on Jesus (in my head, it’s like a dramatic spotlight, but probably it was a lot more subtle than that).

Still, it’s comforting to know that the Spirit, however it works, is helping us to find what we’re looking for—and to recognize Truth when we find it.

Lent Log

John 1:6-18

My favorite in this section is v.14: “And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us…”

I learned something new by reading the Bible footnotes: apparently the word for “made his dwelling” is similar to the Hebrew for “set up his tent” and the Aramaic (dialect that Jesus spoke) for “God’s presence.”

It’s easy to forget that: Jesus didn’t just walk around on earth; rather, he chose to “dwell” with us—and in so doing, he brought God’s presence to us.

I’ve been doing a “Lenten Log” on the youth group’s Facebook page. Someone suggested I post a few of them on my blog, too. You know, so both of my readers can see them…

Jenny’s Log


Day 1

When I was kid, I had Catholic and Lutheran friends (yeah, that’s right, I had friends) who “gave up” things for Lent, like chocolate or pop or movies or whatever. I never really got into this practice, but I did think it was kind of cool to “give up” something in order to “make room” for God.

Then several years ago, I heard about another Lenten practice: instead of giving up something, you could ADD something extra for those 40 days: prayer time, walks, read a religious book, etc. This is another way to “make room” for God.

So this year, I’m re-reading the Gospel of John, a little bit every day. I’m hoping it’ll help me think about Jesus and the things that Jesus did while he was on earth–and help make the resurrection celebration at Easter more meaningful.

Today is Day 1. I’m starting off slow, just reading chapter 1, verses 1-5. Verse 5 is actually one of my favorites: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Darkness can mean a lot of things: death, suffering, sorrow, poverty, sickness–all the stuff in life that really sucks. This darkness tries to beat out all the good things–love, hope, faith, joy, truth. But it can’t. The light is always stronger.


Spring Break is next week—technically, for me it starts at 3:01 this afternoon—and I’m trying not to be jealous that everyone else gets to take trips to exotic places and the farthest I’m likely to get is New Auburn.

So, here’s 5 Things I’m Looking Forward to for my Spring Break:

1. Taking a nap. Seriously, this one will probably happen at 3:02 today. (Ellie was up half the night because of the thunderstorms—which means I was up half the night…).

2. Finally getting caught up on all my grading. Who assigned all this stuff? Oh wait, it was me…

3. The Living Room’s Chai Hot Chocolate that I will use to bribe myself to grade papers.

4. Working on my dissertation. Yes, really. It’s not just the sleep deprivation talking—I had a great idea for it last week and haven’t had a chance to expand on it yet. (Also I will probably deserve another bribe for this…Sushi, anyone?)

5. Watching the last season of In Plain Sight, which starts tonight (10/9 central on USA!).

Happy Spring Break, everyone.

Ellie’s been even more adorable than usual lately.

Snuggling with Dad:

What do you mean, there's not enough room?

Getting fur all over the nice clean sheets the moment I turn my back:

You made the bed just for me?

Romping in the snow:

Help! I'm weird AND adorable!

Just too cute. How can I not laugh?