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“If Only We Had Better Options”

In last Sunday’s Gospel lesson, Jesus had some tough things to say, and many of his followers left to follow him no more. Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Are you going too?” Peter said, “To whom would we go?” Not exactly a ringing endorsement. “Where would we go? We sold our boats and nets ….”

Michael Coffey writes a weekly blog called Ocotillo Pub about the assigned scriptures. For this particular lesson (John 6:56-59), he wrote a poem entitled “If Only We Had Better Options”:

do you also wish to go away
he asked and stunned us like electricity
and we whispered under our breath

yes we would like an easier path
clear cut through the oak forest
something that made sense at least

or better, we wish you would go away
Jesus, you keep complicating and confusing us
and messing us up so we can’t think straight

if only we could have not known you
and heard your words that burn in us now
and never felt your spirit wormhole its way through us

right on into the infinite yes
but then again, before you
was only the deafening finite no

and the deathtrap of our anxious breathless days
so, no, we don’t want to go away
not because we have any idea where this thing goes with you

but because, honestly, where the hell would we go?
it’s you, you ethereal brother, you who is so full of god-life
that every second in you seems eternal.

That’s the problem, isn’t it? Somewhere along the way we got hooked. We became addicted to this Jesus. He became a source of life for us, a cause for hope. It is almost like we are addicted to his flesh. He is the bread that nourishes in us an ethereal and unprovable optimism that this life has some meaning past the sunset of our days.


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Rev. Michael Piazza

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