Sunday

‘I am the living bread that came down from heaven.’ (v. 51)

John 6:51-58 Sunday 15 August 2021

Psalm 111

Background

For me, there is nothing to compare with the aroma of freshly baked bread. It is simply mouth-watering and compelling, which is why the marketing people at a certain low-priced European-based supermarket put the bakery department right next to the entrance. It tempts you to buy their fresh produce before you get to the pre-packed loaves. Other supermarkets are available!

At this point in John’s Gospel, we find ourselves at the culmination of a lengthy narrative during which we have witnessed Jesus, the 'living bread', feed a multitude of men, women and children and now he speaks of himself as the ‘living bread come down from heaven.’ The first people to listen to him must have heard echoes of their ancestors being fed in the desert as they tried to make sense of what his words might mean.

Jesus, the man who was God inside, fed people physically and spiritually. His words and deeds taken together proved himself to be both guide and example of what it means to offer food that will last, "bread that will last forever" (verse 51).

 At Stamford Methodist Church, Second Helpings is a project run by church and community together where we take food that is past its sell-by date and recycle it. We offer it on a 'pay-as-you-feel' basis to all-comers – the needy, the vulnerable, and those concerned about food waste. All may come and receive. 

 So, we find Jesus providing a real link between the Old Testament and the coming Kingdom of God again taking the ordinary, familiar things of life – in this case, bread – as an example of God breaking in to our experience.

 

To Ponder:

  • Listen to  ‘One bread, one body’ by John Michael Talbot.
  • Jesus speaks of himself as 'living bread'. What can you do to help someone in need of sustenance today?
  • What does it mean to you that Jesus is the "living bread come down from heaven"?

Prayer

Jesus, bread of heaven, bread of life, show us how to be bread for your people and make a living difference to the people you call us to serve. Amen.

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