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Every Word

John 6:35, 41-51

The Rev. Jon Roberts

8 August

2021

Calvary Episcopal Church

Indian Rocks Beach, FL

35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?” 43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’[a] Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

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Christ teaching in Capernaum, Maurycy Gottlieb 1879

Today’s daily special: Bread
More bread, and every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Many people will abstain from eating bread because of the carbs or because they may be allergic to gluten. According to an article in USA Today there is breaking news: Carbs are not bad for you. [1] But all the low-carb diet trends might have you thinking that eating a slice of bread is synonymous with downing a gallon of bacon grease and shoving 100 Snickers into your mouth. That's simply not the case. While a diet low in carbohydrates can help people achieve certain weight loss or fitness goals, eating them every day is not detrimental to your diet, experts say. Bread is the most ancient of foods, not meat as many may have thought. The use of wheat has given rise to twenty-nine varieties of bread and we see that almost everyone has an appetite for it. Many, try to abstain from eating a large quantity for the obvious reason of controlling their weight or are allergic to it, but we do not want to discount its importance.

This is the third week where we hear stories from the bible about bread. There was the story of the little boy who helped feed five thousand men, and undisclosed number of women and children, with sharing his lunch. There was the story of mixing all the distinct ingredients of our humanity to make some tasty biscuits. Today’s account is on the importance of breaking and sharing bread. There is the continuing theme about this in the Old Testament stories. We have heard the reference to manna feeding the people of Israel in the wilderness. Later, we learned that bread is related to God’s Word, which is seen in the stories of King David who withstood assaults and yet fell to temptation. David was really close to God and was one who protected his sheep, he killed that giant Goliath when everyone lived in fear, and then under death threats from Saul, God protected him. David is a perfect example of someone who ate God’s bread to survive. As he came into power, however he turned to a carb overload, and see tragedy due to his adultery.

Sometimes we hear what we want to hear. It is not the bread that God wants us to have. God commanded us not to commit adultery, yet David did this. Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband was given a death sentence by David, and his God-given right of being her husband was taken.[2] The taking of one, led to the taking of another and the following story is what took place. David had several wives and the children gathered for a meal one evening. One of the sons raped one of the daughters, and Absalom, the blood related brother of that sister, killed him. Later, Absalom was sent away for his murder only to raise up an army to fight his father who refused to enact justice so that he did not have to commit the crime. David should have put the one brother to death for raping one of his step-sisters, as was the law, but he could not. This was why Absalom killed the other brother. An eye for an eye. The battle takes place between Absalom and David and knowing he had the greater army, and not wanting any harm to his son, he commanded his generals and all their troops to spare Absalom. Absalom may have resembled that defensive lineman who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who was in all of those shampoo commercials, with a mass of free flowing hair. Riding on horse to make his escape, he rides through a forest of oak trees and his hair gets caught in the branches. Surrounded by David’s troops, they knew he would continue to rebel so they secretively killed him on the spot. They went back to David, telling him he died in battle and this made David grieve. The wife he took from Uriah, God took from David his son. In his story, it reveals that we should consume God’s Word daily. We are perishable when we fall into spiritual neglect and violate God’s commands. Don’t let your guard down. Don’t go away from the bread God gave us. Eat the bread; every word that comes from God.

What type of bread did God give the people in the wilderness? Moses said, “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” Jesus makes reference to this passage from Deuteronomy when he says, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will not hunger nor thirst.”[3] Have you ever worked outside, so much that you got so hungry and thirsty, it just craved food and drink for nourishment? It is a result of great exercise, hard work to build, to plant to sow. When we live by faith it is like that. Living proof and working faith need to be nourished. When we are not living by faith and taking the necessary steps to depend on God and working alongside, then our relationships fall apart. Hard work is not just being kind to others, it is also about allowing God to work within you. It can be exhausting at first, but the peace of God can then enter and feed you. Our problem is that we think we can go out and take something that does not belong inside and it corrupts.

When you work, is Christ right there with you? Is he speaking to you? It does not matter if your work is behind a desk or in a ditch. The question is, are you hungry for God? Do you thirst for the Spirit of God? Jesus looks at us and says, when you are ready to eat and to drink, I am ready to feed you with my word. He wants people who are thinking about his, who have feelings towards him and are reaching out. Maybe David and the Hebrew people in the wilderness gave up, either because they got lazy or they became hopeless. Our Father wants us to ask for His help, daily. He wants to be our daily bread. Feed me dear God with your Word and your Sacrament. Let me be that outward and visible sign of that inward and spiritual grace so that I may never hunger or thirst.

Today, you know what today’s special is. Bread. More bread. Will you turn to Christ and live by His Every Word?

[1] https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2019/02/27/i-love-bread-why-your-love-affair-carbs-doesnt-have-end/3002229002/
[2] 2 Samuel 18:5-33
[3] John 6:35, 41-51

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