Sat, 4 August 2018
(Ex.16:2-4,12-15; Ps.78:3-4,23-25,54; Eph.4:17,20-24; Jn.6:24-35)
“Do not work for food that perishes
but for food that endures for eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give you.”
Their bellies rumbling in the desert, “the whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron,” calling out for food to satiate their hunger. How they long to be beside their “flesh pots” in Egypt, where they “ate [their] fill of bread” – even if they should die there. Their great concern is for the food which perishes.
And in our gospel, too, Jesus upbraids the crowd who follow Him, saying, “You are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled,” the Lord having just fed the five thousand. They, too, seek the satiation of their physical hunger while remaining blind to the spiritual food Jesus is.
This lack of comprehension of the life in the Spirit the Lord would impart is exemplified in the name the Israelites give the bread from heaven God has provided for their pilgrimage. “Manna” they call it, after the question they “asked one another, ‘What is this?’ for they did not know what it was.” And how little do those who question Jesus understand of “the bread of God… which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Even as they say, “Sir, give us this bread always,” they do not see that He stands before them, and that they have already partaken of the bread He is. And so, most will turn away, their hearts more set upon the belly than the spirit. And so, with the belly many will perish.
Brothers and sisters, “You should put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way of righteousness and holiness of truth.” Listen to your brother Paul, for he speaks of Jesus and the new life He brings. Here on our altar is “the bread of angels”; and would you turn to eating rotting flesh? The Lord calls you into the heavenly kingdom; and would you choose slavery in the land of sin instead? “Abundance” of food in “His holy land” is now set before us by the Son of Man – partake of this bread of everlasting life, the flesh and blood of Christ.
Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.
Music: "The Spirit Rules the Body" from Breath, the Apple Rises, fifth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.
O LORD, let us eat the Bread you give us,
the food that endures to eternal life.
YHWH, let our minds be renewed, our hearts set on you, on the Bread from Heaven you give us in your Son. Why should we be concerned for the things of the belly and the corruption it brings? Let us be men of the Spirit eating the Bread of angels, not of beasts.
If it is upon the flesh we set our sights, if we desire the food that perishes, we will perish with it. But if, O LORD, we long for the food that endures to eternal life, eternal life will be ours by the grace at your hand. O let us do your works and not those of the devil!
If we come to your Son, O LORD, He will feed us with His Body. If we but believe in Him, He will quench our thirst. We shall never be in want again if we but embrace the One you have sent.
O Jesus, let us look for you and we shall find the truth you are and no longer live in futility but have abundance in your Father’s holy land.