Wednesday April 3 2019


Scripture: John 6:27-40

Key verse: (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”

Reflection: When I was growing up, my mother had something of a bread ministry.  She wouldn’t have called it that, but that is what it was.  In her kitchen, she nurtured sourdough starter so that she could bake several loaves a week to give away.  She took the loaves to families with new babies and new diagnoses, to people who had just moved into the neighborhood, to those who were marking a difficult anniversary, and to friends just because she’d been thinking about them.  The bread, which smelled divine and tasted even better, was a subtle, but tangible reminder that someone was thinking about them – that someone remembered them.

In the Bible, bread is a sign of God’s presence and provision.  In the wilderness, far from home and with rumbling stomachs (and grumbling mouths, but that’s another matter), God sends manna – just enough for each day.  In all four gospels, Jesus calls his disciples to share what little food is available to a crowd of thousands, and they are fed with leftovers to spare.  And here in John, just after such a feeding miracle, Jesus tells his followers that he, himself, is the bread of life – the One who meets our hungering spirits with sustenance that brings us strength for a new day.

Perhaps in offering loaves of fresh bread, my mother was reminding people of just such a divine presence and provision.  That, in all circumstances of life, Jesus offers himself to those who sense a hunger within that they cannot fill themselves.  Followers of Jesus do this in all sorts of ways.  You might not offer literal bread to someone, but maybe you offer a word of encouragement, an unhurried ear, a ride to the doctor, a gift of resources or expertise.  To whom might you offer such grace to today?

Prayer: Make me creatively compassionate, O God, that I might share your life with others. Amen.

Author: Anna Dickson

[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].

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