What is your favorite bread? Take a moment and imagine its smell, the way it feels as you tear into it, the endorphins coursing through your brain as you take your first bite. What bread did you imagine? Was it that slight tang of sourdough? Or maybe a thick cut of spicy rye? Or was it focaccia, that sponge of butter and herbs? Or maybe it was something nostalgic, like toast lathered in jam?
Now take that experience with bread, multiply it by a few million, and you might start to get what Jesus is offering you. I don't know if it is truly possible to grasp the love Christ has for us, but Jesus meets us where we are. Instead of comparing himself to the greatest philosophers, teachers, theologians or heroes of his day, he compares himself to bread--simple, ordinary, everyday, life-sustaining bread. It's a delicious place to start our contemplation of Christ.
Jesus, teach me to see your love in the simple, ordinary, everyday things that surround me. Remind me that you can work with the ordinary to do incredible things. Amen.
John 6:35, 41-51 (NRSV)
35 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. ...
41 Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven."
42 They were saying, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, "I have come down from heaven'?"
43 Jesus answered them, "Do not complain among yourselves.
44 No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day.
45 It is written in the prophets, "And they shall all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.
46 Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father.
47 Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life.
48 I am the bread of life.
49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.
50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.
51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."