Nothing is better than the smell and taste of bread, hot out of the oven. Think for a minute about your favorite bread…crusty French bread, buttered lefse, fresh banana bread, chewy sour dough, warm tortilla, or a healthy whole grain. Bread is a delicious and staple food that sustains life.
Read John 6 and notice the different kinds of bread.
- First we have the barley loaves from the boys’ lunch which Jesus multiplies to feed 5000 people with a lavish abundance of leftovers.
- Then we flash back to the Old Testament when the Israelites escaped from Egypt. People were hungry in the wilderness. God provided food from heaven—manna—which literally means “what is it?” Enough manna appeared every single day to sustain them.
Finally Jesus says, “I AM the bread of life.” John 6:35. Jesus himself is bread, sent by God to the world to give life. This life goes beyond the physical sustaining of ordinary bread. “Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
What does Jesus, the bread of life mean to you? My friend Rachel gave me permission to share her perspective. Rachel is always full of life and joy, but she has had an awful summer—very sick, began dialysis, waiting for kidney transplant. This is what she wrote on her Caring Bridge site:
“Things really changed a couple weeks ago. I was newly out of the hospital (less than 24 hours) and not healthy enough to leave the house—but church is the one thing I NEEDED to do. Especially because it was communion Sunday. Communion is the most awesome “reset” button ever. Just like that, with the body and blood of Jesus—everything is right with the world. That day—I was sooo sick. I couldn’t hide it. My dad and sister basically carried me up for communion and we had to leave after that because I just wasn’t up for anything else. It may have been one of the most physically demanding 60 minutes I can ever remember. But, the point is I made it to church. I sat there and listened to the most perfect hymns and let it all sink in. I was able to be my worst, physically unable self I can remember and there was no judging, no questioning and nothing but support. That day, and every day I get to go back to church, I know I am going to be okay!”
Prayer: God of overflowing abundance, thank you for many different kinds of delicious bread. We thank you for Jesus, the Bread of Life who gives comfort, meaning, strength and abundant life! Like bread is essential to life, so is our relationship to Jesus. Fill Rachel and each of us with You so we will never be in want. Amen
* Bake your favorite kind of bread.
* Savor each bite of the warm bread while thinking about Jesus’ relationship with you.
* Share some bread with a friend and tell a story of Jesus in your life.