March 25, 2009

March 25

101, 109:1-4(5-19)20-30, 119:121-144
Jer. 18:1-11
Rom. 8:1-11
John 6:27-40

John 6:27-40
27Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.” 28Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” 29Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? 31Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
35Jesus 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. 36But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; 38for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. 39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.”

In this scene from the Gospel of John we see the people who have experienced the miraculous multiplication of the bread, asking for yet another sign. Jesus tells them “I am the bread of life” and continues with the promise “Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Jesus promises that he will provide for us—we will be spiritually filled. His words remind me of similar words in the Beatitudes “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

As followers of Christ, we are to become the bread and wine for each other. It is by our actions that the hurting and hungry world is fed and filled. This can be physical and it can be spiritual feeding. This isn’t always an easy transformation. We seldom like being crushed wheat and grapes to make bread and wine.

Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost for His Highest, says, we are “being made broken bread and poured-out wine. God can never make us wine if we object to the fingers He uses to crush us with. If God would only use His own fingers, and make me broken bread and poured-out wine in a special way! But when He uses someone whom we dislike, or some set of circumstances to which we said we would never submit, and makes those the crushers, we object. We must never choose the scene of our own martyrdom. If ever we are going to be made into wine, we will have to be crushed; you cannot drink grapes. Grapes become wine only when they have been squeezed.”

Are there ways you can be ‘bread and wine’ for someone? Jesus is offering to remain in relationship with us in the bread and wine as well as when we offer ourselves to one another.

For your Journal: Write about what your relationship with God is like in light of knowing that you will never be spiritually hungry or thirsty when you are in relationship with Jesus.

It might help to put your name in the quote so you hear Jesus say, “[your name] comes to me will never be hungry, and [your name] believes in me will never be thirsty.”

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