Today's reading: John 6:29-35
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me shall not hunger..."
I am finally getting around to writing this at nearly 10 pm Tuesday night. When I pulled up the Following the Star site earlier this evening and saw the scripture for today, I very nearly laughed out loud. My task list today: Make cookies for a little decorating party at our house tomorrow morning. Write out some favorite recipes for part of a Secret Santa gift. Watch "The Biggest Loser" finale. So...... whoever comes to him shall not hunger, huh?
At this tired time in my day, at this fun, crazy, foodie season, at a stage in my life when food (especially carbs!) is an issue... what strikes me first about this passage is all that Jesus did NOT say... all that bread isn't.
Bread isn't cakes, cookies, chocolate muffins, piles of pasta. Bread isn't treats (not that there's anything wrong with treats ;) ).
But bread is life. Bread is important, even necessary. Bread is sustenance, health. Bread is earth, and bread is body.
Bread isn't scarfing down lonely loaves, filling up time and emotion.
Bread is community. Bread is sharing, gathering around tables, breaking and passing around and nourishing one another.
Bread isn't entitlement. Bread isn't "I've been good, so I deserve..." Bread isn't temptation in a basket.
Bread is a gift of grace, an elemental product of God's good and beloved creation. Bread is worthy of blessing: Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth.
Now, I know that Jesus was speaking metaphorically here in John's Gospel. I know that the Living Bread nourishes souls, spirits, selves..... stomachs, maybe not so much (but who's to say?). I know that the bread of his body, broken for each of us, signifies our connection with one another, our thanksgiving for God's goodness, our remembrance of his sacrifice, our taking his life into us so we can live for him.
So. It's 10:30 pm now. And what's the point? (Do I know? I don't know...) How 'bout this for now:
God, fill me with the Bread that reaches beyond the body to meet the hungerpangs of my soul.
God, fill me with the Bread that reaches out to others, so I may share your bounty.
God, fill me with the Bread that reaches through my barriers and compels me to blessing.
Living Bread, make me hungry no more.