Lectionary Refection: John 6: 24-35: The Bread of Life

            What do we want?  What are we seeking for (hungering for) in this life?  The people ran after Jesus because their bellies were filled with free food.  They chased him because they were healed.  These days we have food stamps and (for the time being) a kind of universal healthcare.  So?  Is that enough?

            I look a facebook where people disgorge what they had for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Some people just want to be seen.  They want to be noticed.  They walk around with purple hair and tattoos hanging out not because they want to be invisible.  It is to be noticed, even if they claim it is not.

            Others go a step further and start a blog, not only to be seen, but I believe it is because many of them want to matter, have a purpose, maybe even to make a difference, but certainly to be well known for this or that.  To be seen as experts in whatever.  It may be for a very positive reason, but I suppose it is still to be seen.  It is for status, if not money.  Sigh.

            What do we want?  What do we thirst for?

            Listen to the voting public and it seems many are inclined to vote for the one who promises the most safety, security and full bellies.  Everyone wants to feel safe and secure.  Everyone wants a life without worries of what we shall eat or what we shall wear or where we shall sleep.  It makes me wonder why there is such a push these days to hate the rich.  (For the record, I don’t want to tear anyone down.  I want to lift people up).  I don’t hate the rich.  I would rather become one of them.  Wouldn’t you?

            But money will not buy happiness, as they say.  But a life without worries and with full stomachs is tempting.  Sadly, that requires the kind of focus and dedication to worldly things that I am not willing to give.  You see, I would rather live a full life than worry about a full stomach.

            Only a life given to Jesus is one potentially free of material desires, self-indulgence, material concerns.  That is what Jesus is saying here to the people.  They don’t get it.  But when you think about it, you might ask:  If we truly believe in Jesus (in a John 3:16 kind of way) why are we still hungry?

            What do we want?

            I submit it is because in truth most of us are spiritually empty – seeking after the things of this world instead of seeking after God.  Jesus promises here that he will give what we need.  (Not that he will give us necessarily what we want).  And he lays it out here as a kind of question.  Are we hungry for God?

            Food will only keep us alive for a time, until hunger returns.  Why do so many of us spend so much if not all of our time striving after food and things?  Wouldn’t it be better to spend time on Jesus?  Food will keep us alive for a time, but Jesus will keep us alive forever.


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