This Sunday we are beginning a series on the “I Am” statements in the gospel of John. One of the most well known “I am” statements is: “I am the bread of life”. It’s a short phrase with a bushel of meaning.
• The phrase is an allusion to the manna the Israelites ate in the wilderness. That manna came from God. The Israelites knew that. When Jesus says I am the bread of life, he really is saying I have come from God like the manna did.
• The phrase also represents the normal expectation of bread. We feed on it. It sustains us and gives us energy and life. This is true of Jesus. He is essential to the life God wants to give us.
• The point of the statement finally is to reinforce in us our awareness of the union we have with Christ by believing in him. By His Holy Spirit He is in us and we are with him.
It is true that the early Christians were sometimes accused of cannibalism because they spoke of feeding on the body and blood of Jesus. But they were willing to endure that accusation because they were so serious about their salvation, about the truth that they were, to use Paul’s phrase, “in Christ.”
I respect the fact that different Christian denominations have varying views of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper (Communion). I delight in the fact that so many take it so very seriously .
At Trinity Hill we discuss how often we should take communion and I am glad we have. For now, we have decided to do so once a month. No matter how often and in what format we take it, we must always be reminded that the one who said, “I am the bread of life” is urging us to understand Him as vital and basic to eternal life, a life of meaning, joy, and depth, with the Father, now and forever.
~Pastor Arlan Koppendrayer