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Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life.” –John 6:35
We perceive a pattern developing. Free food isn’t quite free, even when manna rains down from Heaven for all takers. Faith isn’t free, either, when professing the Creed winds up demanding your life in conformity with your words. Going to church is a whole lot more than free shelter from life’s storms. It also implies a surrender to service. And when Jesus says, “I am the bread of life,” count on this bread being both a gift and a responsibility.
“Give us this bread always,” the crowd around Jesus begs. Give us miracle bread that takes away the fear of want. You and I are part of that crowd, of course, asking for something we don’t fully understand. We want the bread that is really the life of Christ, so we’re assured of eternal life. And yes, Eucharist is that kind of guarantee—but it’s not for free. Even though the ushers don’t stop and take tolls from us as we approach the sanctuary for Holy Communion, Eucharist is not a free ride. Once Christ-life is in you, you are Christ for the sake of the world. Ask yourself: what did it cost Jesus to be Jesus?
How are you the bread of life for those around you—and those who are far off?
Image credit: Corinne SIMON/CIRIC