John 6:24-35The next day, when the people who remained after the feeding of the five thousand saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, "Rabbi, when did you come here?" Jesus answered them, "Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do 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." Then they said to him, "What must we do to perform the works of God?" Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent." So 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? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, `He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'" Then 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. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." They said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always."
Jesus 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."
Pass the bread of life please.
A lot of the bible seems to center around eating. As it should. Eating is a major part of our lives. It keeps us going. I think in a lot of ways we are all looking for the bread of life of which Jesus speaks. Remember the story of the woman at the well. Jesus spoke to her about drinking living water and never thirsting again.
Jesus speaks in metaphors. He talks about the food of eternal life and living water. These substances give food and drink to our spirits. A person can have all the physical resources the world can give and still be spiritually starved and die from spiritual thirst. In fact I think that to some extent it frequently works out that way.
I have been following the writing of a Des Moines Register columnist who is chronicling his slow progress from the grip of morbid obesity. He started out weighing 540 lbs. and one of the questions he is commonly asked is, “how did this happen”. I don't remember his response to that question but I think I know. We look to the physical world to fulfill our needs. We even try to fulfill our spiritual and emotional needs with physical things.
Here is a father Fred example: I am bored and I could use a pick me up. I know! I'll have some potato chips. Those were really salty. I think I will have some soda to wash it down. Those chips were pretty good and after that soda I could use something salty. I'll have a few more chips. I am thirsty again. More soda is required.”
And so it goes...and all because I was a little bored. Or how about this. TV would be a lot more enjoyable if I had a bigger screen. I have one hundred and fifty channels and there doesn't seem to be anything on. Maybe I'll bump up to the two hundred and fifty channel.
I may be wrong on this but I think we do these things because we are trying to fill a hole in our lives. As I said before, it is a spiritual hole that can be filled by spiritual things and not physical desires. The Zen Buddhists have a saying that sometimes less is more. Sometimes all of the things that we own start owning us. That is when it is time for a change.
So, brothers and sisters. Let us today begin eating the bread of heaven and drink the living water that our savior Jesus talked about. It will fill that spiritual hole. That is the path to salvation.
When we share in communion later in the service, (all are welcome at the Lord's table) I will put the bread in your hand and say, “The body of Christ, the bread of heaven.” I mean it.