Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Bread That Lifts Us Up

This week's scriptures are Psalm 34:1-8 and John 6:35, 41-51.

I was struck by this weeks Psalm. Like many praise Psalms it begins with words of blessing and exaltation. Then, suddenly, "Here is one who cried out in his affliction..." The Psalmist's praise is rooted in the experience of brokenness, trouble, and fear. It was in the middle of these things that he cried out and God responded in such a way that he says, "O taste and see that the Lord is good."

All too often we've heard things that lead us to believe that being people of faith is somehow protection against fear and trouble. Worse, we've sometimes been told that we shouldn't be afraid, that we should plaster a smile on our faces and ignore the problems that come our way. The truth is that this just isn't scriptural. It's not the way the biblical writers talked about the human condition, and it's not how Jesus did either.

Verses 18 and 19 go on to say:
The Lord is close to those whose courage is broken;
he saves those whose spirit is crushed.
Thoug the misforturns of who is rightous be many,
the Lord delivers him out of them all.

Both the OT writers and Jesus spoke about God coming close to us in our times of difficulty. God's people cry out....and God comes. In fact, both the Psalmist in this passage and Jesus talk about God coming so close that it's like the food we eat.
"O taste and see" "I am the living bread"....tasted, taken in, nurtured by. Food becomes a part of us. And Jesus said that He was the bread that would "raise us up on the last day"....the final word will be our being redeemed by the Living Bread of Life.

I'm reminded of the words of what has become one of my favorite hymns:

And He will raise you up on eagles wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His hand.

Come and celebrate the Bread of Life with us on Sunday. We look forward to seeing you.


No comments: