Friday, September 6, 2013

The Bread of Life--by Linden Malki

Yesterday, a customer in my store asked if we had any washers the size of a quarter. I asked what size bolt they were for, and he said the inside didn't matter. He "needed" them for a washing machine--for the quarter slot.  It seems like I hear this sort of thing all the time--people will say outrageous things with a straight face,  not interested in truth or fairness or right.  It seems that when some  people want something,  it doesn't matter who is paying, who is being inconvenienced, or even whose it is or what damage is caused.  The world seems hungry for everything except God.

One wealthy person, being asked "How much money is enough?" answered "Just a little bit more."  Our whole world is based on always wanting more--money,  stuff,  power.   There doesn't seem to be an end.   Every one of us probably has something that we want more of--gadgets, books, food, clothes, power tools--think about what catches your eye and tends to come home with you.  But do they really satisfy us beyond the moment?

Almost four hundred years ago. the French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal put it like this:  " There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus."

Jesus knew about hunger.  Part of His preparation for ministry was the experience of a 40-day fast.  At this point, His Adversary reminded Him that this hunger would be easy to fix--but Jesus knew that  the physical fix would be temporary.  On several occasions, He did feed large numbers of people bread, but the next day they were looking for Him, hungry again.  His answer to them was  that they should not "work for food that cannot last, but work for food that endures to eternal; the food that the Son of Man offers".  He had told them that those who hungered and thirsted for righteousness would be filled. What did Jesus offer to fill this need?   "I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to Me will never be hungry; he who believes in Me will never thirst."  The righteousness that aligns us with God is not something that we do in our own strength,  but Jesus Himself. On the last night of His human life, He gave Himself to His disciples--and His followers forever after-- in the form of bread and wine, which, as we eat, becomes part of our own bodies as His Spirit becomes part of each person that accepts this gift.

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