Contemplating Jesus

OUR DAILY BREAD

Posted on by Lucinda M. Vardey

 

When the Israelites were experiencing hunger in the wilderness, God sent them manna that was white upon the ground and tasted like “wafers made with honey.” (Exodus 16:31) .  Although Jesus said, “One does not live by bread alone,” (Luke 4:4) he chose bread to be the receptacle of the essence of his body, thus enabling the sustenance of body and soul to be satisfied by digesting bread.

After Jesus’ resurrection, he accompanied two disciples on the road to Emmaus and they, with their hearts burning, asked him to dine with them.  It was only at the blessing and breaking of bread did they recognize the wise stranger as Jesus and he “vanished  from their sight” (Luke 24:13-32).

Gerald L. Schroeder, wrote in his book, The Science of God that  much goes in to  making a loaf of bread.  Not just flour, water, yeast and sugar but soil, sunlight and stove heat. Beyond this “a nurturing climate” is essential, and “in the cosmic sense, a nurturing universe” (p. 177).  Taking all this into account suggests that Jesus’ choice of bread to commune and communicate with us, to enable our recognition of him, to allow intimate nourishment of grace, breaks open not just eyes to see, or hungry appetites to satisfy, but an extraordinary galactic relationship to open up.

Our daily bread requested in The Lord’s Prayer, cannot be just manna, or the Jewish challah (braided bread for the Sabbath), or even the communion wafer, or the eucharistic loaf, but the vastness of God’s love and God’s creation embedded within each slice.   When Jesus was about to depart from this world and return to God, his parting ritual with his disciples was a meal and the sharing of bread.  Simple in practice, essential to life.  That is where Jesus desired to be found as he left for the heavens and the expansive cosmos, in our everyday.

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