by Jennifer DiFrancesco
God of the Hungry,
This day help us to see where
and how we are hungry
and help us recognize
and address those who hunger around us.
Scripture Reading: John 6:35, 41-51 (Common English Bible)
Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
The Jewish opposition grumbled about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”
They asked, “Isn’t this Jesus, Joseph’s son, whose mother and father we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
Jesus responded, “Don’t grumble among yourselves. No one can come to me unless they are drawn to me by the Father who sent me, and I will raise them up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets, And they will all be taught by God. Everyone who has listened to the Father and learned from him comes to me. No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God. He has seen the Father. I assure you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that whoever eats from it will never die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever, and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” -John 6:35
For the past year, I’ve had the privilege of making fresh gluten free communion bread for a new worshiping community. The practice of making bread definitely takes patience. The bread process isn’t quick. It takes at least couple hours for you to have a finished product in your hands. And the smell that fills the room as you make it….heavenly.
I don’t know about you, but bread smells and tastes especially good when I am hungry. God fed the wandering Israelites manna in the wilderness. Jesus fed the hungry multitudes after a day of teaching. And here, we have Jesus sharing how it isn’t only physical hunger that he can satisfy, but spiritual hunger as well.
When the new worshipping community gathers, we share the bread as community before we eat dinner. Even as many of us have shared the body of Christ before, within our community we share it with each other, passed from person to person in a circle. As the adults and kids tear off a piece and extend it to their neighbor with these words, “This is my body”, they share a deep abiding invitation which flows from the same words Jesus shared with his best friends and offered to all of us.
However you share the bread of life with others, you share in the passing of the good news that the most hungry, the most maligned and the most lost can have their hunger satisfied.
Questions to Spark Conversation
~What kind of bread do you like to eat?
~Why do you think Jesus calls himself bread (as opposed to cookies or cake)?
~How are we called or asked to share this bread with others?
Make a loaf of bread or baked goods and share it with a friend or someone who is hungry.
A yummy bread recipe suggestion: https://sojo.net/articles/sojourners-recipe-delicious-and-easy-bread