John 6:48-58 (NIV)

48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” 52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.”

John 6:35 (NIV)

35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.

DEVOTION – Maureen Pratt (California)

I love eating foods from different cultures, and some of the things I most enjoy are the different kinds of bread.  Some breads are flat; some are leavened.  Some are dense and dark; others are fluffy and light.  Some are served warm and some at room temperature.  I never tire of exploring and learning how each culture makes bread.

Beyond the taste and texture, however, is another amazing thing about bread:  As different as breads are, they share a purpose we all can relate to. In many cultures, bread is central to our meals; it nourishes our bodies and gives us strength for our work each day. It unites us, too. When I eat my morning toast, I can imagine someone else, far away, eating their bread with dinner or lunch. When I make my own bread, I can imagine other folks in another land doing the same thing-carefully and with love.

When Jesus says, ” I am the bread of life,” we immediately understand the central place God has in our lives. What’s more, we share Jesus, the Bread of Life, with each other, far and near, as we live faithfully. When we think of Jesus, “the bread of life,” our ordinary, daily bread takes on a deep, rich meaning and becomes something not so ordinary.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:  Jesus is our spiritual nourishment.

PRAYER: Dear God, we praise you for the gift of your son, Jesus, the Bread of Life, who unites us all in faith. Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: Gratitude for our daily bread