I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.’
Devotion by Molly Broderick
This passage comes in the middle of a larger story about Jesus feeding the 5000 and then using that as an analogy to talk to his disciples about bread that will give them life forever. Toward the end of the passage, many followers don’t like Jesus teaching and walk away. Jesus turns to Peter and asks him, “Are you going to leave to?” And Peter says, “Where would I go!? You have the words of life.”
I’ve always related to Peter’s answer here. But lately I relate even more. Over the years I’ve left an abusive husband who was a pastor in a very, very toxic and fundamentalist church. I left the church and all of those toxic teachings too. My relationship with Christianity and God is tricky these days. As much as I don’t want to be a Christian and don’t want to necessarily go to church, I feel like Peter, Where else would I go?
The Church in general (big C church here, the Church universal) can be a toxic place. Talking about a Father God, an exclusively male God can be really toxic to some of us. Some teachings within Christianity make me want to scream and pull my hair out and empathically say, “I’m NOT a Christian, if that’s what being a Christian looks like.” But Jesus? He has the words of life. He is the bread that nourishes. I want to be a Jesus follower.
Every time I’m confused and frustrated in my faith, I come back to this over and over and over again. Where would I go? Jesus has the Words of life. Jesus is the bread that nourishes and the water and quenches my thirst. Just Jesus.
Jesus, make me more like you. Thank you for being the bread of life. Thank you that YOUR words bring life to me. Amen