The Blessing of Bread
One of the best birthday gifts I have given to my wife Colleen was a Bread-making Machine. She gets a lot of satisfaction making bread, and my children and I get a lot of satisfaction eating it. She likes to eat it too.
There is something special about a fresh loaf of bread. There is also something basic about it. For many people in the world it is a fundamental part of their diet. In one way, it is representative of food in general. It is not uncommon for a person to say “I work so I can put bread on the table for my family.”
Bread represents something basic to our physical sustenance and well-being. We eat bread for survival and for pleasure. It is not surprising then that our Lord chose to use something as basic and fundamental as bread to represent His body broken for us.
In John 6:35, Jesus declared: “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never go hungry.” As created beings, we are all dependent on our Creator and His creation to meet our basic needs. Only God is all-sufficient within Himself. He is the only one who does not need something outside His being to sustain and complete Himself.
We are not like that. We need food like bread to survive physically. We need good relationships with people to have a sense of emotional well-being. And we need Jesus to meet our deepest needs. It is through Him we are made right with God and it is through Him that we receive the life of God in our soul.
Without Jesus, our soul and spirit continues to hunger and thirst for ultimate meaning and satisfaction in all the wrong places. We can become vulnerable to things like gambling, pornography, illicit relationships, excessive work or to alcohol to fill the God-shaped void in our hearts. The deepest part of ourselves seeks completion in something outside of ourselves, because we are created and contingent beings.
Why Settle For Moldy Bread?
C.S. Lewis wrote a classic statement of how the fallen human heart settles for moldy bread too readily. Let me quote him:
If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us. We are like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mudpies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
It takes faith and patience for our hearts to be weaned off the bland fare of the world in order to cultivate a strong appetite the true Bread of Life.
Jesus is the only One who can take all of our human relationships to the next level. He is the only One who can infuse our work with eternal meaning. He is the only One who can bring wholeness to our lives through His broken and risen Body.
QOTD: Have you begun tasting and experiencing the goodness of the Bread of Life in the deep parts of your being?