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.
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
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,
included in all grain offerings
sign of sacred covenant between Israel and God
irrevocable relationship of love and trust.
that bubbly, unpredictable
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.
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.