"The Bread of Life"

 

Theme: Jesus, the Bread of Life, gives everlasting life - Proper 14 (19) B

Object: Hand-made sign, "Will Work for Food." (For greater impact, have someone dressed like a homeless person walk in holding the sign just as you are ready to begin.)

Scripture: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever." John 6:51 (NIV)

I see them every day as I drive to and from work. Dirty people in ragged clothes standing on a busy street corner holding up a sign like this one that says, "Will Work for Food." You've seen them, haven't you? What do you think when you see them? I must be honest and admit that some of the things that come to my mind are, "I wonder if they would really be willing to work, or are they just looking for a handout?" Or I might think to myself, "If I gave them money, would they buy food, or would they just spend it on drugs and alcohol?"

What do you think Jesus might want us to do when we see these people? Perhaps he might want us to pull into the McDonald's across the street and buy them a Big Mac® and a Coke.® Jesus was always concerned about the physical needs of people. That is why he spent so much of his time healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, and feeding the hungry. Don't you think he wants us to do the same?

Jesus wasn't just concerned about empty stomachs -- he was even more concerned about empty hearts. One day, after filling the empty stomachs of over 5,000 people, Jesus said to them, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever." Jesus was telling them that he came to give his life so that they could have everlasting life -- if they would believe and trust in him.

Jesus wants us to be concerned about empty stomachs, but he also wants us to be concerned about empty hearts. As we share our bread with the hungry, let us also share the story of Jesus, the Bread of Life, so that they may eat and never die.

Dear Father, we thank you for sending Jesus, the Bread of Life, so that we may eat and never die. Help us to share the story of Jesus with others. Amen.