John 6:24-35 (NRSV)
Verse 24So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus. Verse 25When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, "Rabbi, when did you come here?" Verse 26Jesus 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. Verse 27Do 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."
Verse 28Then they said to him, "What must we do to perform the works of God?" Verse 29Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent." Verse 30So 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? Verse 31Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'" Verse 32Then 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. Verse 33For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." Verse 34They said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always." Verse 35Jesus 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.
Knowing the boredom of living as the only child among five adults, I looked forward to the visits of Great Uncle Hans from North Dakota. Anticipation—the crowds around Jesus knew that feeling. Having seen him take five loaves, give thanks, and turn them into enough to feed the crowds, they waited for what he would do next.
Storytellers like John are fascinated by the story of the bread multiplied or the water turned to wine, but more than that he invites us to anticipate the One who made these things happen as he comes into our lives and our world.
My story is that the Bread of Life makes a difference in my life. So join me. We anticipate the presence of the Bread of Life who comes to us in bread and wine. He restores us and sends us out, anticipating what happens when we feed the hungry and love the unlovable.
God of rye and tortilla, matzo and pita, we anticipate your coming in bread and wine. Make us new in this Bread of Life. Amen.