|Food and Community
January 19, 2018
Read: John 6:1-15, 47-51
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh. (v. 51)
The first part of John 6 tells the story of a miraculous meal, the feeding of the 5,000. With just five loaves and a few fish, Jesus provided a feast for a crowd of thousands. This was more than just a meal, though. For the crowd, it was a moment that changed everything. As we read today’s key verse, afterward Jesus offers the people a very unusual type of feast: his own body and blood. People need not only physical sustenance to live, but spiritual nourishment to receive full life. If we take it seriously, the story in John 6 changes everything for us as well.
In the Gospel of John, this miraculous meal and Jesus’ confusing offer anticipates the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 1:23-26) as a sort of first Communion. Jesus offers the crowd (and us) both physical and spiritual nourishment—nothing less than fullness of life.
In this series of devotionals on food and community, we will focus on John 6 to explore this story and its themes. First, we will look at the loaves and fishes meal, exploring what we can learn about this physical feast. Then we will explore the spiritual feast of Jesus’ body and blood, otherwise known as Communion. Finally, we will think together about what it means to be Communion people. —Amy Curran
Prayer: Jesus, please help me see and receive the abundant life you offer.