Thomas Hinton from Ministry Matters shares a story:
“Hunger hurts! When you haven’t had enough to eat it is painful. I vividly remember a meal shared with fellow theological students. After we had said grace one student said to me, “I just don’t understand why we pray over our food. None of us have ever been without food. Most of us have eaten too much of it today, and we are struggling with a weight problem. We should not be grateful for food, but grateful when we can resist its allure.”
This person’s problem was that they had never been without food before, never been weakened because of the lack of food. The average person in the world will eat one small meal today, and 10,000 will die due to the lack of food. Hunger hurts!
Hunger for food was assumed in biblical times, and with the context of this universal experience Jesus spoke the controversial words, “I am the bread of life.” It was a statement that was sure to get everyone’s attention. What was Jesus saying about himself?”
John 6:35 (CEB)
35 Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
The Jewish opposition grumbled about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”
They asked, “Isn’t this Jesus, Joseph’s son, whose mother and father we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
Jesus responded, “Don’t grumble among yourselves. No one can come to me unless they are drawn to me by the Father who sent me, and I will raise them up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets, And they will all be taught by God. Everyone who has listened to the Father and learned from him comes to me. No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God. He has seen the Father. I assure you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that whoever eats from it will never die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever, and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
Christ makes us bread for the world. He blesses our lives and makes us complete. And then, Christ sends us into the world to be given in service of others. When we believe in the one who has come down from heaven and has fed us with his body, we are made into heaven baked bread, blessed and given in service to the world.
Through Christ, we become the live-giving bread, the body of Jesus Christ. Our lives are far from finished; we are still being baked. But as long as we are rooted in Christ, we are rooted in the one who gives life and life abundant. And it is he who sends us out to be bread for the world. Let us trust, that through Christ, we are enough. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Pastor Michael Williams