August 1, 2021: More Than Bread

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

More Than Bread

When Jesus says, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35), my hunch is that most of us tend to focus on the bread. And why not? We. Love. Bread. I’ve never met a bread I did not like. We love bread, savor bread, break bread, fill up on bread, and have so many marvelous memories of smelling, and touching, and tearing, and tasting all kinds of bread. We love bread. Count the ways.

And we love this delightful image of Jesus as bread. Jesus is the bread that came down from heaven. Jesus is the bread on the table of Holy Communion. Jesus is the bread that nourishes the soul. Jesus is the bread we share as a community of faith. Yes, Jesus is the bread.

But more than bread, he is the bread of life. Indeed, the image of bread can be so profoundly appealing that it draws our attention away from the life to which this metaphor of manna points. Jesus is the bread of life.

Not the kind of life the biologists study. The Greeks called that kind of life bios. Not the kind of life pertaining to the human soul. The Greeks called that life psuche.

But, rather, the very different kind of life that is uncreated, eternal, and divine. A life that is the very essence of God. A life God shares into those willing to receive. The Greeks called this kind of life zoe. John speaks of it forty-seven times in his Gospel. The purpose of his writing is to offer abundantly this divine, eternal, and indwelling force of life to all who would give their believing hearts to Jesus as the Christ and the Son.

In him is zoe. He comes down from heaven and gives zoe to the world. Whoever believes in him will have zoe. Those who feed on the endless offerings of Christ will never hunger for this Life again. More than bread, he is the Bread of Life.

John D. Rights, pastor, Konnoak Hills Moravian Church
Winston-Salem, North Carolina


The Moravian Church

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

August 1, 2021