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As young children we were told stories of cannibals who ate the flesh of their enemies to show their domination and attempt to assume their enemies powers. We saw pictures of these scary looking flesh eaters in National Geographic or social science books and were rightly appalled.
Last week there were pictures of one of the Syrian rebel leaders eating the flesh of one of President Assad’s officers. America is considering backing cannibals because they have not killed as many thousands, yet. It is not at all clear in Syria if there is a good guy in the fight. Both Assad and the rebel forces are ultimately our enemies. That is why the vast majority of Americans are willing to let them fight it out. The rebels in Syria, if they win, may do much more damage to the world that Assad ever conceived.
Eating human flesh; can society decay lower than that? Of all the human atrocities what could be more vulgar?
The early believers in the Roman world were vilified as cannibals. The outsiders learned that Christians had a ceremony where they ate the flesh and drank the blood of Jesus. Those saints had lots of slanderous propaganda to contend with. Just like the news spinners of today the Church’s enemies would take, “sound bites” distorting the truth.
They would say, the leader of this appalling religion has said, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:53). Of course the uninformed society did not know the rest of Jesus teaching; “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life” (John 6:63).
To consume Jesus is to consume His Spirit, His manners, His values and practices. There is a saying, “You are what you eat.” When we ingest the Lord and His Spirit dwells inside of us we assume the power and love of the Great Friend!
May the Saints of God become the caterers of Real Food to Syria and the nations of the earth!
Be careful what you eat.
Steven C Johnson