I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 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.’
Reflection by Duke Yaguchi
As Jesus often did, He speaks of the bread of life, not common bread. He had just fed thousands with a couple of loaves and a few fish. With this as the backdrop, it must have been very confusing to hear about another type of bread. Bread that would give eternal life. Jesus also gives a foreshadowing of the last supper and the covenant cemented in His execution.
When I say grace before a meal, often I am thinking of the food that is before me. Yes I pray for those in need, and those that I am with, and my k9 friends. But when I think of food, I'm thinking of the physical food before me. I'm thinking of the blessing and the nourishment that it provides.
Even after knowing what I know about Jesus and all of the stories of the Bible, I don't think of Jesus' bread, except during communion. If I don't think of it, from my vantage point, how much more rare and confusing must it have been for those living in Jesus' time!
Dear God. Help me to ponder the bread of everlasting life, not just during communion, but every time I pray. In Jesus' name, Amen.