Living Bread


August 05, 2015

By Mary Louise Howson.

Scripture: John 6:51 (NRSV)

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.

 

REFLECTION:

For many of us in Twentieth Century America, bread is something that is made in a production line far away and comes in a plastic wrapper from the supermarket shelf. Often filled with preservatives and genetically modified wheat, it is frequently to be avoided. We have never seen it made, and we do not think about it.

As I sit to write
Four crows outside my window
   cawing over one crow's food
   for each needs to eat.
One after the other, they fly off
   seeking nourishment.

Earth gives its sustenance to all,
   sacrificing that we may live.
   fruits of grain, water, salt, and yeast -
   only life gives life
   transformed in order to transform.

Yet the hard outer shell of
   the growing grain's protection
   must first be broken away.

The grain inside
   washed and cleaned,
   crushed and pounded into flour
   (perhaps like our egos).

Salt, necessary for life,
   a preservative,
   included in all grain offerings
   sign of sacred covenant between Israel and God
   irrevocable relationship of love and trust.

Fresh Bread
Homemade Bread
Photo (and bread) by Debby Page

Yeast's energy,
   that bubbly, unpredictable
   irrepressible ingredient
   offering new life
   that we cannot imagine,
   the living spirit at work and play.

Water; without which life cannot be,
   over 60% of our bodies,
   the very water of life
   cleanses, cools, sustains, and purifies,
   transforming flour into dough.

Mixed, rolled, kneaded, pounded
   each element, releasing its essence
   as it is shaped into a loaf.

Placed into the fire of transformation,
   death into new life
   mystery of the cross.

To eat the living bread is to participate in the journey of inner transformation into which Jesus calls us. It is a second birth - for this living bread offers new life.

 

PRAYER

Creator of all life, we thank you for the elements that you mixed in us to make us whole, and the new life that you offer us through Jesus Christ.

Spirited Wednesday: August 05, 2015 , by Mary Louise Howson.