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Sunday Devotion: 22 August 2021, Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Sunday Devotions

The Bread of Life

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Written by clergy and lay people across our Diocesan community, ‘Sunday Devotions’ is a column of short reflections based on a Lectionary reading of the day, suitable for small group discussion or personal use.

“He who eats this bread will live forever” (John 6. 58)

Main Readings: 1 Kings 8 (1, 6, 10-11) 22-30, 41-43; Psalm 84; Ephesians 6.10-20; John 6.56-69 [Joshua 24.1-2a, 14-18; Psalm 34.15-22;

Supplementary Readings: Psalm 149; Mark 11.11, 15-19; 1 Kings 10.1-13; Psalm 34.15-22; Ephesians 6.18-24

I easily could have focused on COVID-19 troubles during our most recent lockdown, ‘feeding’ on negative news. Then I remembered to turn back to be ‘fed’ by the Word, the Bread of Life, in my Bible. I found myself uplifted and spiritually encouraged.

John chapter 6 presents Jesus Christ as the Living Bread from heaven that sustains and supports life. He is not medicine that prevents disease, cake enjoyed as a desert, or candy enjoyed for its sweetness. He is the Bread of Life that is essential for life! This great chapter concerning Jesus as the Bread of Life follows the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000. The miracles in John’s gospel are parables through which Jesus sought to teach something about the life of the Spirit, the life of faith, the life of worship, and the life that leads to joy.

There is a great physical hunger in the world today. Population explosion, famine conditions, drought and COVID-19! These challenges present us with an invitation and a commission to help those craving relief from this hunger. In our society there is also a great spiritual hunger – for truth, love, forgiveness, peace, meaning and purpose in life; a haunting dissatisfaction within people’s hearts. People are hungry today for Jesus Christ. Great joy can come to those who follow the purposes of Jesus Christ.

There has always been a hunger for eternal life, and Jesus Christ alone can give that eternal life. As we trust Him and meditate on all He came to do for us, and as we give ourselves in obedience to Him, we feast on the Living Bread from heaven!

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