Readings for the 12 Sunday after Pentecost

John 6:51-69; Ephesians 5:6-21; Joshua 24:1-2,14-18

“History is a set of lies agreed upon.” So said Napoleon Bonaparte, who apparently held a quite cynical view of human nature, and specifically of people’s tendency to twist and bend their memories of the past into a storyline that best suits them, even if it’s not true.

This theme about how we remember the past comes up most clearly in the Old Testament reading where Joshua spends considerable time re-telling the Israelites their own story of how they became God’s people. Notice his repeated point that it was the LORD, and not they, who had gotten them this far (Joshua 24).

In our Gospel, Jesus offers himself to us as the Bread of Life by which we may live forever. These words are particularly comforting in light of our two funerals this week (John 6). St. Paul calls us to walk in the light of Christ, which here means living sexually pure lives (faithful to our spouses) and avoiding idolatry (faithful to God). (Eph 5)

In light of the Joshua reading, how would you tell your salvation story? Who are the most prominent people in that story? Are there parts of that story you’d be tempted to forget or even mis-remember?