I can scramble a few eggs, and I can make a grilled cheese sandwich. Beyond that, I have no competence in the world of cooking. I envy a friend who has a gift for making wonderful bread. He is known for his capacity to bake many varieties, and he gets great joy from sharing his bread with others. It is one of the ways he demonstrates his love for people.
I am a bit jealous of his knowledge and ability. There have been times when I thought that I would like to learn how to make bread. However, my thoughts have never taken me to the oven. My motivation has been lacking; I have never baked even one loaf.
A few weeks ago, I made a decision to try to see every piece of bread as a symbol to remind me of Jesus who said, “I am the bread of life.” When I remember to do this, I am reminded of Christ’s love for me and for all people.
We meet Christ in the people we encounter each and every day. We experience Christ in the poor, in those we love, and in those we find difficult to love. We are called to be the bread of life for every person every day. It is so easy to eat bread as a symbol of Christ’s presence and then to relate to others as if we had never eaten the bread. Bread can indeed be an important symbol. Symbols can point beyond themselves to the God who is far beyond us, deep within us, and all around us. Paying attention to everyday bread as a symbol can remind us to be mystically one with the Lord who is the “Bread of Life.”
Loving God, help me to love others as if I have truly eaten and digested the Bread of Life. Amen.
David thinks he has gotten away with his sins, but God sends Nathan to tell David a story. The story angers David, but Nathan reveals that the story is really about David’s own behavior. Indeed, it can be tempting to condemn others’ sin, while we justify our own. Psalm 51 is David’s appeal to God for forgiveness and restoration. If we want to please God in our own lives, what does this look like? Ephesians tells us that the signs of a redeemed life include humility, love, patience, and building up one another (the opposite of what David displayed). In John, Jesus has crowds following him because they want a free meal. The lasting nourishment they truly need, Jesus teaches, comes through believing that God has sent him.
Read 2 Samuel 11:26–12:13a. When has someone else helped you see that you have sinned? How did you respond to that person?
Read Psalm 51:1-12. When have you felt “unclean” before God? How did God restore you?
Read Ephesians 4:1-16. What are your gifts? How do you use them to build up the body of Christ?
Read John 6:24-35. How do you feed your soul?
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