17th July 2020
'Whoever eats this bread will live'
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." John 6:51
There is nothing like the smell of fresh bread -
it's one of my favourite of all smells.
There is something very basic and fundamental about it.
If you are selling your house it is said that the smell of new baked bread
in the kitchen will increase your chances.
Since the lockdown I have put on about half a stone,
chiefly because, like many of us, I've been baking more.
I have a weakness for fresh, homemade bread,
still warm from the oven, covered in butter.
Just thinking about it brings a longing.
A longing from childhood;
I grew up in Kent but as a child would spend holidays
with my mother's sister and her husband,
a master baker.
They had a bakery behind the shop and lived in the flat upstairs.
My uncle would get up at 4.30am
and by the time I woke the air was filled with the smell of fresh baked bread,
Bread is wonderful,
although I also liked the fresh jam doughnuts covered in sugar!
Jesus broke bread for a hungry crowd of people.
Even though there were only a few loaves to feed thousands of people,
yet in the end, there were baskets full of what was left over.
In the hands of Jesus it was more than enough.
Jesus also broke bread with his disciples
and told them that it represented his body broken for them.
God gave the Israelite children bread from heaven
to feed them forty days in the wilderness.
It was more than enough to sustain life.
It is good to have your fill of bread.
Wouldn't it be good if all people had their fill each day!
Wouldn't it be good if we, with so much bread,
would share it with those who have none!
Wouldn't it be fantastic if,
as with the manna from heaven that Israel ate in the wilderness -
there would be food enough for each one of us day by day...
as in fact there is,
for the world food supply is more than adequate to feed every man,
woman, and child upon the planet -
it just isn't distributed fairly!
But to come to Jesus only for the bread that satisfies our bodies one day
and leaves us hungry the next,
to turn to him only for the physical and immediate blessings of this world
is to miss the significance of who Jesus is,
and indeed to miss the significance of what life itself is all about.
God, the Father, gives all people the real bread through his Son, Jesus.
Could one broken body be enough for the whole world?
In the hands of Jesus, it was, and it is.
One man, one sacrifice, one death, and one resurrection,
gives us one pardon and one fullness with God
for eternity for all people, past, present and future.
What a wonderful gift!