God is all we need

Friday Reflection

30th October 2020

'in him we are fulfilledr'

'Surely God is my help;
 the lord is the one who sustains me.'

.... Psalm 54:4

When I was young,
I used to spend my holidays
with my aunt and uncle in Surrey.
My uncle was a master baker
and they had a shop
with a bakery behind it
and I would wake up to the smell
of newly baked bread;
even today it is one of my
favourite smells.

Bread is still my go-food
when I need comfort,
whether it's a chunk
of fresh baked bread with cheese
or a slice of toast.
Last week I found an apricot and fennel
sourdough loaf;
it tasted amazing -
but not so good for the waist line!

Jesus also must have appreciated
the value of bread.
When he taught his disciples
what to pray each day,
the first request was daily bread.
But that bread took many
different forms in the Bible.

Sometimes it looked like a loaf
from the oven (Lev. 2:4)
other times like manna
from heaven 'a thin,
flake-like frost on the ground,'
(Deut. 8:3),
or best of all,
like Jesus who declared himself
to be 'the bread of life'
(John 6.35).

All three are God's perfect provision.
But with our human eyes,
we would only probably recognise
the loaf of bread
as good and most appropriate,
and what a tragedy that would be.

The loaf of bread
may be what I want from God,
but isn't the loaf
the least miraculous
of all the forms of bread?

It's the kind of provision
we have to work
to receive from the ground,
harvesting the wheat,
processing it and then baking it -
all with our own hands.

But maybe that's what I like
so much about the loaf of bread.
Since I'm working for it,
I have a sense of control of it.

Manna represents what God gives.
The manna that fell from heaven
for the children of Israel
was God's prefect sustenance,
even though it looks like little flakes
rather then loaves of bread.

And yet it came directly from God,
day by day,
and kept the Israelites alive
in the desert for
the 40 years they needed it.
It was miraculous.

But even with the manna,
people had some part to play.
They had to go out of their tents
each morning to pick it up.
They didn't grow it,
but they could count on it.

The best kind of bread though,
is the bread of life,
Jesus himself.
This isn't provision we work for
or we simply pick up;
this is the provision in Christ placed inside of us
that feeds and supports us.
In John 6:35 Jesus declared,

'I am the bread of life.
Whoever comes to me
will never go hungry,
and whoever believes in me
will never be thirsty.'

If we have Jesus today,
we are living in
answered prayer and provision.

The one who brings good,
even from the awful things
we are seeing about us today,
is actively working
on our behalf right now.
We need never question
his love for us or his goodness to us.

Who is Jesus to me?
   Jesus is the Word made Flesh.
   Jesus is the Bread of Life.
   Jesus is the Victim
   offered for our sins on the cross.
   Jesus is the sacrifice
   offered at holy Mass
   for the sins of the world
   and for mine.
   Jesus is the Word -
   to be spoken.
   Jesus is the Truth -
   to be told.
   Jesus is the Way -
   to be walked.
   Jesus is the Light -
   to be lit.
   Jesus is the Life -
   to be lived.
   Jesus is the Love -
   to be loved.
     Mother Theresa

   Bread of Life?
   Jesus lived up to the title.
   But an unopened loaf
   does a person no good.
   Have you received the bread?
   Have you received God's forgiveness?
     Max Lucado