Bread is sometimes called “the staff of life.” Good bread is filling and life-sustaining and tasty. But it can’t compare to the Bread of Life, which is Jesus, for it is eternal. I think of this every time I eat a slice of bread. If we had the choice, would we who live in the Spirit choose His bread—His Word and Spirit—over a physical loaf? We do have a choice. He is our staff of life.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
House of bread
As Mary and Joseph walked to Bethlehem to pay their taxes, they must have met dozens of others along the way. Tax-paying time was a busy time, which meant good business for the innkeepers and merchants, since the travelers had to find somewhere to stay and eat while traveling. Cooks and innkeepers probably baked uncounted loaves of tasty, energy-giving bread for those who stopped along the way.
Imagine the disappointment and frustration of the sellers who ran out. They may have lost money and perhaps future customers. So they must have worked around the clock to make sure their supply would exceed the frantic on-surge of travelers. Innkeepers also had to make sure beds were changed and meals fed on time. When Mary and Joseph showed up, the harried innkeepers might have let them sleep in the stable without a second thought.
How great the irony of that night! An inn chock full of customers waiting for bread to sustain them sat only a few yards away from the Bread of Life, Jesus. Innkeepers bursting at the scene of impatience, their energy waning from the push to please customers, stood on the very doorstep of the Savior who could feed their empty, overworked bodies and souls.
We see the same kind of rush today. Parents and children run to find the perfect gifts, prepare the perfect meals and host the perfect parties and pageants, trying to please everyone and missing out on the true Bread of Life, Jesus. As with the innkeepers in Bethlehem, our busyness in trying to meet exaggerated expectations results in our missing out on seeing the true Bread of Life, Jesus.
The bread the innkeepers provided fed the hungry travelers for the moment, but Jesus offers us the bread that feeds us for eternity. “I am the bread of life … the bread which comes down from heaven that one may eat of it and not die. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” (John 6:48-51)
We can either accept or reject the bread He offers. It’s our choice.
Lord, thank You for being our Bread of Life. We want to make our home a true house of bread with Jesus at its center. We want to live eternally with You. In Jesus’ name, amen.