The reading this Sunday, in the Common Lectionary, shared by so many churches, is from John 6: 24-35, and ends with the nourishing ‘I Am’ saying:
‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty’.
Indeed the whole of that chapter in John is a series of reflections stories, meditations, and scriptural allusions to bring out the myriad senes in which Jesus is the Bread of Life. As it happens I am working on a sequence of sonnets on the seven ‘I Am’ sayings which are threaded like pearls through John’s Gospel, so in case it is helpful for those preparing to preach this Sunday, I am posting my sonnet on this saying in advance. This poem will eventually appear in my next poetry book ‘Parable and Paradox’ to be published by Canterbury Press next year. As always you can hear me read the poem by pressing on the play button or clicking on the title.
I Am the Bread of Life
35 Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
Where to get bread? An ever-pressing question
That trembles on the lips of anxious mothers,
Bread for their families, bread for all these others;
A whole world on the margin of exhaustion.
And where that hunger has been satisfied
Where to get bread? The question still returns
In our abundance something starves and yearns
We crave fulfillment, crave and are denied.
And then comes One who speaks into our needs
Who opens out the secret hopes we cherish
Whose presence calls our hidden hearts to flourish
Whose words unfold in us like living seeds
Come to me, broken, hungry, incomplete,
I Am the Bread of Life, break Me and eat.
9 responses to “I Am the Bread of Life”
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dear brothers and sisiters , read this before you blindly speak about Christ ,who is sacred for Muslims like Muhammad , and who do not believe in all messengers of God , from Adam , till Muhammad, is not a Muslim read the attachment please regards
I was planning to do something else today, in reflective mode, but your poem stole me away (as they tend to do!) and I couldn’t leave the thought of our broken Christ … a wonderful sonnet and I can’t wait to hear the others in the sequence. What an amazing thread to follow.
p.s. … it is listening to your spoken word that sparks my thoughts .. isn’t that something?
Me, too. What a gift God has given us in Malcolm. A beautiful mind being used for God’s glory. His words are my prayers.
I am honoured to provide words for anyone’s prayers
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Pingback: Jesus said, ‘I Am’ – for Lent. Chapter 2, Bread | Andrea Skevington
I’ve been thinking about Jesus as the Bread of Life- sitting in the Word, considering your beautiful poems, thinking of Jesus’ “Bread Week”… He fed 5,000 Jews, represented the next day by snarky leaders asking for a sign so that they could believe (yeah, right), then 4,000 Gentiles a couple of days later, with the Syrophoenician woman’s “even the dogs get the crumbs” comment which so amazed Jesus put in between the two stories. From a poetic perspective, the Bread of Life is rejected, swept from the Jewish Passover table onto the floor, where we Gentiles were given eternal life from the “crumbs.” Grafted into Abraham’s family by faith, we then get to serve this same bread back to the whole world. Grateful for your poems which bring the many symbols of the Gospel to new life for me! I hereby request one on dogs and crumbs- :o)