“‘A loaf of bread,’ the Walrus said, ‘is what we chiefly need.’”

Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, 1871

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When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jesus replied, “I assure you that you are looking for me not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate all the food you wanted. Don’t work for the food that doesn’t last but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Human One will give you. God the Father has confirmed him as his agent to give life.”

John 6:24-27

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Did you know that a human can survive more than three weeks without food? With enough water, your body can do amazing things to keep you alive. But eventually, we all have to eat. It’s one of our only true obligations.

Have you ever felt that way about church? Does experiencing Jesus ever become one more obligation in your life? Here in Capernaum, Jesus is downright annoyed that people are looking for him just to fill their bellies with food. He just miraculously fed five thousand people so he could illustrate God’s greater power to give new life to all. But all the crowd can think about is more food.

Sometimes going through the motions with church is like using Jesus just to fill our stomachs. But if we seek Christ, in pure joy and curiosity, where Christ is working to bring new life — a friend who is abandoned, a hurting parent who needs your love, a sibling who needs support — we might just find who Jesus really is and receive the bread that lasts.

Blake Tommey

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God and the living Christ, astound me with your life-giving power. Move me past obligation and into reckless discovery of how you are at work in and around me to bring life to a world caught in cycles of death. Help me seek the bread that lasts. Amen.

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“Bread of Heaven, Bread of Heaven,
Feed me till I want no more.”

From “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah,” 1745, by William Williams

Blake Tommey

Blake Tommey lives in Charlottesville, Virginia and serves as director of Eunoia Christian Community, a college and young adult ministry of the Baptist General Association of Virginia. Blake is also a contributing writer for fellowship! magazine, Baptist News Global, and other faith-based publications.

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

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