John 6:35 – 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." (NRSV)
Jesus chose some interesting symbols to remind us about the depth and breadth of God's love for us humans, symbols like bread, and wine, and water. In today's text, Jesus speaks about himself as "the bread of life."
When I haven't eaten for a while, I get pretty cranky. My stomach is used to receiving something to work on at least three times a day. When it doesn't, it complains pretty quickly and in ways that are really obvious. The message gets to my brain and affects my feelings and my thoughts pretty quickly. Missing a meal is a pretty big deal for me! Fortunately, I have never reached the point of starvation.
When we have become quite hungry and are finally able to have something to eat, we usually begin to feel better quite quickly. Even before the food starts to be digested in our stomachs so that it can get into our systems, the pleasure of eating contributes to our sense of well being. Assuming that we are eating something nutritious (that is, not "junk food"), pretty soon we begin to feel even better because the nutritional strength that was in the food has become part of us.
When Jesus tells us that He is the bread of life and that the person who comes to Him shall never hunger, He is telling us that He has come to us to become part of us. The result of this is that we are able to live life more fully and with much greater strength than would otherwise be possible. He has become part of us, so that we can deal with whatever it is we have to deal with in life. He has become part of us so that we can really live! That's a pretty wonderful thing, actually quite amazing.
Prayer: Loving God, we are glad that you have become part of us through Jesus, the bread of life. We celebrate the fact that, through having Jesus, the bread of life, in our lives, we are able to do much more with our lives than would otherwise be possible. Amen.