JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Exploration, today’s Reason to Believe is bread.
Bread is a type of food that sustains our strength. Having human bodies, we need food to live. And Jesus encourages us to pray for our Heavenly Father to give us our daily bread.
In the days of Moses, the Israelites received manna from heaven. It would appear every morning except the Sabbath day. God would provide for their needs in this way, but they were not supposed to take more than they needed.
Bread is a symbol of what we need-no more, no less. Perhaps that is why Jesus said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven.” We need all the spiritual food that Jesus has to offer for the strength to live the Christian life, abundantly and eternally. Anything less would be insufficient. Anything apart from Jesus would be baggage.
Jesus said in John 6:35, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” His grace is the spiritual nutrition that truly satisfies our hunger and thirst for righteousness.
The bread of life is a reason to believe in God’s good news.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment of Celebration reflects on Jesus as the Bread Of Life.
After feeding 5,000 people, starting with five loaves of bread and two fish, Jesus taught a lesson of faith about spiritual bread.
He said in John 6:35: “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
Jesus was inviting us to come to Him for a type of nourishment that physical food could not provide. Blaise Pascal has said, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus.
There are many different things that people seek to fill this vacuum. Some people seek satisfaction in money, fame, or pleasure. These are shallow substitutes for the long haul. Seeking Christ opens the way for us to live in relationship with God, and to experience His love and righteousness. In this way, we can have a fulfilling and thriving relationship with God that lasts forever.
The Bread of Life that Jesus offers us is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.
JOHN SHIRK – In Micah 5:2, we read about the birthplace of God’s anointed leader:
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
The name “Bethlehem” is significant because it means “House of Bread.” Jesus identified Himself as the bread of life. So, entering the world stage as a baby in the manger, Jesus came to the House of Bread, as the Bread of Life.
His birth in Bethlehem was planned long before it really happened. The location of Christ’s birthplace is sending the signal to the world that just as bread satisfies physical hunger, so Jesus is our vital source for satisfaction for spiritual hunger.
And just as Jesus came to Bethlehem, which was considered small and insignificant, so He approaches people who are humble, and raises them up for extraordinary purposes.
The promise that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem is a lesson of faith worth remembering.