Wednesday 10 June 2015

Bible Book:
2 Kings

(v. 42)

2 Kings 4:42-44 Wednesday 10 June 2015

Psalm: Psalm 20


Immediately preceding this miracle is a story set in the contextof famine when Elisha finds food that was at first unpalatable andthen he converts into wholesome food (2Kings 4:38-41). Then we read how 20 barley loaves fed 100people and there was still food left over. Obviously this is asimilar story to the feeding of the 5,000 (John6:1-14).

There are two aspects to this story. We can choose to see it asfact - that a few loaves of bread were fed to a vast number ofpeople satisfying all. Or we can recognise the symbolism here thatbread has come to mean in our lives as Christian people. The breadthat brings life is freely available and nurtures everyone whogathers around the table. All we have to do is come to the table;make that decision and move ourselves mentally, physically,spiritually to the place of hospitality and welcome and openourselves to the possibility of being fed.

Freedom to choose the sort of life that is offered to us by Godis not always felt by everyone. Often we find ourselves conformingto expectation, doing what we think we ought to do rather thanlistening to our inner desires and making our own individualchoices. Sometimes the institution of the Church can eradicate asense of freedom so that the gift of life-giving bread is hard totaste, touch and feel.

Seeing bread as a symbol of freely given, unconditional love mayhelp us tap into who we each are as we are fed by it and who Godcreated us to be and this may help us move out of the institutionalties that supress our longings and snuff out our hope.

To Ponder

  • Symbols and images can have a very important effect on us -some we keep privately, but others we share as a common experienceor understanding. Reflect on the symbols that are important to you.How far are you able to discern a sense of freedom that flows fromthe associations you make with your chosen symbol(s)?
  • It is good to come together in worshipping communities, butsometimes the institution can take over and our sense of who we arecan feel lost as we go with expectation. What kind of church canyou imagine where you are free to be completely yourself, fed bythe bread and wine of God who recognises the child God has created?To what extent is this a scary thought or does your imagined churchgive you hope?
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