If I hear this once more, ” man shall not live on bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord “…I’m going to gag because I know what you mean.
- I don’t read the Bible enough.
- I think too much.
That scripture does show up in the Old Testament, I would give reference to where it’s found, but I’m sure you already know, and…will tell me. But it makes me think of Jesus trial in the wilderness. Upon rising out of the waters of the Jordan, and God’s spirit hovering over the Son of Man the first born of the new creation…he mysteriously becomes the God-man. This is the emergence of humanity and the divine…the embryonic beginning of the new creation. It’s here wet, and saturated with God he wanders into the desert and is tempted by what Paul would say, ” For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness…against the empire of illusions.
It’s here much like the earlier exodus, God has led his people out of slavery away from the bonds of injustice and oppression. They are stripped of everything…but God. It’s this bread that comes from him that mysteriously shows up each day on earth…it the dirt of humanity, the ground on which we navigate life. They are to take enough to sustain them for the day nothing more…ensuring there is enough for ” everyone.”
Of course, they complain…because, well…God just isn’t enough.
Leap forward to today. If I’m really gut wrenchingly honest, and freeze frame this image in my mind. As a so called ” Jesus follower ” God is calling me out of the slavery in my life. The bonds of injustice and slavery in my life. I have to really scan my life and see how disconnected and fragmented it really is. What chains am I unknowingly or knowingly still chained to? What in my life am I still chaining people to by my daily living? Honestly, how much I have I really navigated out of ” Egypt”? Or am I really a cross border shopper wanting the best of my world and God’s?
How much oppression do I see in my neighborhood, in the world around me…without speaking against it. How much do I condone it, and keep it functioning by my silence? When I shop, or should I say consume, do I worry about where it’s made? Do I see the life of the workers behind the product I’m buying. And when I wake up each morning do I think about just collecting and hoarding to sustain my life…or am worrying about everyone being sustained?
You see if we really want to feed on the bread of life, this Manna…first we need to pull out our maps and see how far we moved out of Egypt. Or have we just navigated lines across the page, and in our minds convinced ourselves we’ve travelled a long way…when in reality we haven’t moved an inch.
And even then…I’ll complain. I’ll keep looking back over my shoulder, and move one step forward and two steps back, and convince myself I’m moving in the right direction.
Here is the crux. We’ll say Jesus, you are the truth, the way and the life. And he asks us OK, follow me. But, again as true as we convince our self they are…do we, do I embrace them. Still the most shocking image of truth for me comes around the story of the rich man and Jesus. Jesus says, Sell everything you own, and give it to the poor…and follow me.”
You want to feast on the bread of life, let this be your daily bread…then consume that. Every time I read that the hard drive encased in my skull comes to a screeching halt. It’s like my whole operating system crashes. Because this just isn’t nibbling on bits and pieces of scripture in your Bible…this is about life.
How much of my life, am I willing to sell? Do I really want the bread of life to be my daily diet…or is the biggest portion of my diet going come from Egypt…while I get take out, manna, when I feel desperate. Maybe I’ll feel a twinge of guilt because the wardrobe I’ve dressed my life in won’t fit anymore…and I’ll try the God diet for a few weeks just to get them to fit again.
So yes, I do think about the bread of Life everyday…just maybe not the same way you do. And, yes…guilty as charged…I think to much.
I’ll just close with these words from Mother Tersa around the bread of life…as a sign of God’s life and love.
“When Jesus came into the world, he loved it so much that he gave his life for it. He wanted to satisfy our hunger for God. And what did he do? He made himself the Bread of Life. He became small, fragile and defenseless for us. Bits of bread can be so small that even a baby can chew it, even a dying person can eat it.”
She says it with mysteriouus beauty…how broken are we willing to be come, will we become broken bits of God’s manna for the world to consume.