Bread of Life
I spent a few months living in Minnesota. In the winter. To make up for this, I had a few goals in mind. One was to venture out onto a frozen lake. Another was to catch a Prince sighting. He doesn’t perform all that often, and when he does, it’s on his own [bizarre] terms. So I had to figure out how to stalk him. Chasing Prince, it turned out, was like chasing a unicorn.
People tried to do the same with Jesus. They’d heard the stories of this magical experience where he fed thousands of people. Now they wanted to see what magic he’d pull off next. So they stalked him.
Jesus wasn’t a unicorn. Who was he, then? What did he reveal? They were looking for a unicorn, but he did them one [much] better: He gave them God.
They didn’t know, of course. They wanted some magic for the moment. Some might’ve been seeking a cure to an ailment, a common request. Others might’ve been waiting entirely too long for a meal. Others showed up with exactly whatever you might be seeking from God.
A lot of us have a specific vision of who God is and how God should behave. As did the crowds “stalking” Jesus. They wanted a show…magic. Instead, they got Jesus.
It’s not that he can’t do the exciting stuff. But Jesus wasn’t interested in being their show pony. One might think, then, that he would be impatient with them, would throw up his hands and walk away, diva-style. But Jesus was no diva.
Jesus saw and heard them, and he had compassion for them, and he cared for them. He turned no one away, despite the truth that they had him all wrong. Their main problem? They hadn’t dreamt big enough.
Jesus was more. Jesus is more.
Each of us will have a sense of who God is and what God can do for us. The Gospel of John consistently reminds us is that God is capable of these things. But God is much more than anything we can imagine. What’s more is that we don’t have to chase God. God shows up – no matter where we are – for life. And then some.
Prayer: Taste and see the bread of life. Amen