MONDAY 11th MAY 2020
Good morning friends,
I left you yesterday reflecting on Jesus saying he was the Way. It got me thinking that over the next few days we might reflect on the “I AM” sayings of Jesus which are to be found in the gospel of John. There are seven of these statements and here’s the first.
“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 6:35
Folks in the Fellowship here will have heard me speak of my maternal grandmother.
She was the person who introduced me to Jesus, and with whom I spent many happy hours during my childhood.
She was a wonderful lady, but there were something’s about her that used to puzzle me.
1. She wore a hat in the house?
2. She had her coal fire on all year round, even on the warmest of summer days?
3. She wore a “pinny” at all times during the day, even to church!!?
4. She had toast at every meal,(closely followed by an Askit Powder)
I don’t know what the fascination with toast was, but it certainly was part of her daily life. The Co-op Bakery was on the corner of the street she lived in, and many a day I was sent off to buy a pan loaf, never plain mind,........ it had to be pan.
Bread makes up a significant part of the daily diet of people around the world; it is a staple food item for many. Every culture seems to have their own unique take on bread: baguettes, pitas, naan, challah, matzo, tortillas, biscuits, focaccia….the list goes on and on.
I know at the start of the lock-down, shops were reporting a rush to buy the essential ingredients to make bread, people stocking up in case the bread shelves emptied as people stocked their freezers with loaves.
Bread is a strong symbol of our need of sustenance, and we find bread featuring regularly in Scripture.
The Israelites in Egypt, instructed to bake their bread without yeast at the Passover as God saves them from bondage (Exodus 12).
God provides the Israelites with manna—bread from heaven—as they are wandering through the wilderness (Exodus 16).
Future-king David, on the run from Saul, eating the Bread of the Presence from the Tabernacle (1 Samuel 21:1-6).
Bread demonstrates God’s love and care for his people: God knows what we need, and God provides for us, no matter our circumstances.
Jesus uses bread in his teachings, parables, and miracles.
When tempted by the Devil to turn stones into food, Jesus responds by quoting scripture: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:1-4).
When teaching his disciples to pray, he includes the phrase, “Give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:5-15)
One of his amazing miracles involves breaking five loaves of bread and two fish, and providing enough food for 5,000 men (Luke 9:10-17).
An in John 6, Jesus refers to himself as bread: “I am the Bread of Life.”
Jesus—God in human flesh—knows our physical and spiritual hungering. Jesus knows that we need bread for sustenance: the Bread of the Presence, Our Daily Bread, and the Bread from Heaven.
When we are hungry, bread satisfies. God provided bread for his people throughout their history, supplying for them in their need and when they could not provide for themselves.
Perhaps, then, it should be no wonder that at the last supper, Jesus speaks to his disciples—and to us too—“This is my body…take and eat.”
What are you hungering for today? For sure, during these days of lock down, we are missing, hungering for many familiar things, but, as we are learning many of these “things” no longer hold the importance they once did.
So, let us feast this day and in all the days of our lives on the Bread that satisfies and gives us life in all its fullness.
Prayer: Father, you are a good God who gives your children what they need. Give us today our daily bread—the sustenance for physical strength, and spiritual strength as well. Thank you for sending your Son, Jesus, the Bread of Life, who satisfies our hunger. Amen.