Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Bread of Life

The next day, when the people who remained after the feeding of the five thousand saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus.

When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, "Rabbi, when did you come here?" Jesus answered them, "Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal." Then they said to him, "What must we do to perform the works of God?" Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent." So they said to him, "What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, `He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'" Then Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." They said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always."

Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." John 6:24-35

There is something about bread. People lined up like crazy at the farmer's market in Sitka as an old woman made fry bread. The dough was overflowing the bowl and everyone was transfixed. We made six loaves of cinnamon bread and three dozen cinnamon rolls for the church fair this weekend and the smell of the bread rising was overpoweringly wonderful. There is something basic to the human condition that bread responds to.

We understand something essential when Jesus says to the people that he is the bread of heaven. He is talking about the basics of life and that God will be with us in him in all of our basic needs, and in the midst of our aches and desires, despite how often we might hunger and thirst for the wrong things. God's love incarnate is the missing element, the thing we desire most even when we think money, fame, beauty and power are what we need. God's presence is at the core of our ache and our hunger. As people, easily distracted and often confused, we are people who need God in our everyday basics, in the midst of our breathing out and in.

Today, I ask God to help me to recognize the aches and hungers I have as a push towards the heart of God. May our impulses and yearnings move us closer to God and closer to one another. May we seek the bread that fills us, the water that stops the fire within us and the love which blots out all fear.

1 comment:

mgdoolin said...

This week I think the universe needs a lot more yeast so it can lighten up.