August 10, 2015

John 6:51 “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

Have you ever devoured a book? By that, of course, you don’t mean that you chewed up and swallowed the paper pages you held in your hand. It is even worse if you have a Nook or iPad from which you read now- try biting off a hunk of that! No, when we say we devour a book we mean we internalize it with a certain amount of intensity and enthusiasm and swiftness. John 6 has been dealing with Jesus and bread. Early on he feeds the 5,000 with five loaves and two fish. Then he talks about being the bread of life. Here he calls himself “the living bread that came down from heaven” and states that this living bread should be eaten and that those who eat will live forever. Is this an illusion to the Eucharist, the Sacrament of communion? John is the only gospel which does not include an account of Jesus breaking bread and distributing wine to his disciples the night before his death. Is this his way of dealing with this sacrament from a different angle? Maybe. Or maybe the sacrament and the above verse both point to the greater reality of internalizing God. When we devour a book we take it all in. When we eat the living bread we take in Jesus to the deepest part or ourselves and just like bread from that place it sustains our life and gives energy and causes growth. People post pictures of their meals on Facebook these days. They are great images and look very inviting but you can’t eat them. Jesus is indicating here that he is about interacting in those deep parts of us where we are most truly us and nourishing, building and transforming us from within. This week what will you devour? How might you eat the bread which came down from heaven?

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