How does Jesus’ bread talk translate into something Christians can use? It sounds good and it’s inspirational but will it connect with people in Galilee and on the margins of American society. Those are the two questions I want to put to Jesus after four weeks of bread, bread, and more bread.
Yes, if given the opportunity, this is what I’d ask Jesus.
However, that’s not all I want to say. I also want to tell him:
Enough with the bread already! I am sick of talking about how you are the bread of life. Over and over, week in and week out, it’s the same message, repeated a hundred different ways. We get it: you are the bread of life, you come from heaven, you are not like Moses, you’re will not run out, you are everlasting, we will not go hungry, and have I left anything out? I am on board. How many times do we need to say the same thing? Redundancy, Jesus, is not a virtue.
Sometimes I feel like you believe we’re not only sinful but stupid. We get it. I understand that “the bread” will be on the final. The metaphor makes sense to me. I realize you’re not talking about cannibalism. I understand the imagery and the relationship to Moses. In fact, I picked that up about two weeks ago. Honestly, I’m good. I’ve got it. The congregation has got it down pat. You don’t have to keep talking in these bread circles. For the love of you, we can move on. I want to know what I can offer besides making my congregation a) hungry b) wonder about my obsession with carbohydrates or c) puzzle over your self-association with bread or d) think John really wanted to be a baker.
Perhaps we try something new this week? What about a nice parable or something involving water? Maybe there’s a leper needing to be healed. How about a blind, leprous, one legged, Phoenician prostitute needing water? That’s right up your alley. She’s about to be stoned by Pharisees. And she’s fully stocked on bread. This we can do.
I promise you Jesus, I’m not preaching one more week of this bread ridiculousness. Joke’s over.
Okay, we’re done. No more. See you and the bread on Communion Sunday next month.
Richard Lowell Bryant