I’ve been thinking of quite a bit about bread lately. With a few friends who themselves or their children have celiac disease and others who are throwing bread to the curb due to carb and gluten concerns, I think yesterday’s gospel has a certainly irony – Jesus reminding Satan, “one does not live on bread alone”.
As for myself, I’ve re-discovered my bread machine and have been able to give my family fresh rolls or bread almost every day for the past few weeks. This warm bread eaten on a cold winter’s day has made everyone quite happy. Last week, one of my children remarked, “Mom, I could only this every day and be just fine…”
Bread – both literally and metaphorically – is scattered throughout the Bible. Just in Genesis we have Melchizedek lifting bread and wine, Jacob and Esau’s birthright was decided with bread and soup, Joseph interrupted a dream involving a baker and a basket of bread and God gave the Israelites bread in the desert as manna. In Psalm 78: 17-20 we know,
“But they continued to sin against him,
rebelling in the wilderness against the Most High.
They willfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved.
They spoke against God; they said,
“Can God really spread a table in the wilderness?
True, he struck the rock,
and water gushed out,
streams flowed abundantly,
but can he also give us bread?
Can he supply meat for his people?”
We know He did. He does.
God provides us bread and meat – both within the sacrifice of His Son. His flesh is real food (John 6:55) which we consume hidden in the wheat of a communion wafer.
So, what do my meanderings about bread mean?
I’m wondering if I am letting God through His Son satisfy me or am I looking outside of Christ and His Church?
The world seems to offer a banquet of opportunities to feed and be satisfied – through wealth, power, fashion, fitness, the right clothes, the right look, the right house, the right…..whatever.
If we only do…this…or that…we will feel satisfied – but are we?
Of course, this doesn’t mean we can’t be healthy, exercise, be wealthy, powerful, and on and on and on –
But is that all we want to the exclusion of Christ?
Or, if you are more like me, are we refusing to be content and accept God’s plan for our life even when that mean I live without those things?
If that is the case – either case – then, we are trying to live on bread alone.
Deuteronomy 8:3, the verse which Jesus is quoting, tells us we live not on bread alone, “but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
And one of God’s words for our lives is from Hebrews 13:5, “be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
So, should I be giving up bread for Lent or maybe giving up an inordinate attachment to or selfish desire for the bread of the world because I already have the bread of life (John 6:51) whenever I want it.