Lenten Devotional: Wednesday, April 3

Psalm 101Psalm 109:1-4(5-19)20-30Psalm 119:121-144
Jeremiah 18:1-11
Romans 8:1-11John 6:27-40

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever believes in me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
John 6:35

In this familiar passage, we encounter the disciples questioning Jesus about the very purpose of their lives on Earth. His response is simple enough: All Jesus wants is our faith in Him. Don’t worry about food, the very thing that you believe will sustain you. Jesus, instead, insists that all we truly need is Him.

As a mother of four children, I spend a great deal of time on food for my family. There are considerable planning, finances, mental and physical energy that go into providing nourishment to sustain our physical lives. At first glance, Jesus’ instructions to His disciples struck me as profoundly un-practical. Of course they need to eat! I tried to picture the looks thrown my way if I told the five people I cook for everyday to rely on Jesus today, since He’s all we need anyway.

In this passage, Jesus is using bread as an example of a life sustaining substance, and relating it to Himself, the source of spiritual sustainment for all who believe in Him. This promise is at the crux of the gospel, and the foundation for our faith. God has given us all gifts, not only to sustain our own lives, but also to provide aid to those who struggle to live with the most basic needs.

I am reminded of this amazing promise, and of God’s call to us to extend both the physical and spiritual Bread of Life to others, in the words of Hymn 335, often sung during Holy Communion:

“I am the resurrection, I am the life.
They who believe in me, even if they die,
They shall live forever.”