Friday, August 20, 2010

Bread of Heaven

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:35-40

Guide me O Thou Great Jehovah
Pilgrim through the barren land
I am weak but Thou art mighty
Hold me with Thy powerful hand
Bread of heaven Bread of Heaven
Feed me now and ever more
Feed me now and ever more.

We are defined and recognized by what we eat. Every culture and human grouping holds certain foods dear and certain others as the stock of life - their daily manna, their daily bread. Rice is the foundation of food and life in some cultures, potatoes in others, bread in yet others and taro in many island nations. And then even in smaller groupings of people, by age and family divisions, certain foods reign supreme. Grits are unknown in some parts of the country as is scrapple and yet delighted in and celebrated in other places. You name the food and there is a group that that is essential to - the bread of life. When my girls were young poptarts and fish shaped crackers were the cuisine of their existence, their bread of life.

Jesus talks to a group of people who are confused by his actions, his miracles and his presence among them. They are trying to sort their lives out, trying to understand how to please God and be part of the family. And Jesus says to them that he is the food, the staple of life, the love, the gift, the entirety of what they need for life and life abundant. The complete and perfect sustenance of life. And none of us knows how to really understand that or take that into our beings.

Today, I want to live with conviction that Jesus is the br3ead of heaven, the complete food of my soul and body's nurture. May we all rejoice in our fullness despite what we lack for in Christ Jesus we are abundantly provided for. May we be blessed to share our abundance with others.

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