Thursday, March 28, 2024

Lent - Maundy Thursday - Bread and Wine of Jesus

 Living Bread ~ Jesus said to them, “I am the Bread of Life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” John 6:35 

For every time you east this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until He comes again. 1 Corinthians 11:26 NLT

In a letter to the Corinthians, Paul addresses the people regarding the meaning of the Lord’s Supper. Frequently in the first century church, a fellowship meal often precedes the celebration of bread and wine. Paul reiterates the purpose of coming to the table together using Jesus’ words from the Gospels: This is My body, which is given for you and This cup is the new covenant between God and you, sealed by the shedding of My blood. He reminds these believers that they are one body united in Christ. To honor Christ this way demonstrates unity within the body by remembering the new covenant given by Jesus through His death and resurrection and in proclaiming the promise that Christ will return again. Jesus echoes, “Do this in remembrance of Me.”

This Holy Thursday Christians across the world will gather to remember the night Jesus hosts this memorial meal, will listen again to ancient but familiar words, will consider the cost of everlasting hope. On the night before His death and after a fellowship meal with the disciples, Jesus breaks the bread and pours the wine, says to remember His death and sacrifice for the sins of the world. Because of Jesus, our places of brokenness and suffering always find hope. Oswald Chambers frequently gives the call to believers of the body of Christ, “Be the broken bread and poured out wine.” Let us, the body of Christ united by grace, be the tangible bread and wine to others by sharing the love of Christ and His infinite hope. Jesus echoes, “Do this in remembrance of Me.”

Lord ~ You are my Hope in all directions, in every circumstance; You go before me, surround me, send Your angels to protect me. Without Your brokenness there would be no wholeness; without Your sacrifice there would be no hope. You bind my broken dreams and failures, take my empty places and loneliness and bring me into Your presence. This communion renews my soul and refocuses my heart. While praying, Lord, always give us this bread, I am embraced by Perfect Peace. Help me be bread and wine of Jesus to others. ~ dho

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Lent - “I Am This Bread”

 Living Bread ~ Jesus said to them, “I am the Bread of Life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” John 6:35    

And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”      John 6:35 NKJV

Teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum, telling those who crowd in to hear, Jesus explains the bread of God comes down from heaven. The crowd says, “Lord, always give us this bread.” Recognizing their spiritual blindness, Jesus clarifies, “I am the bread of life.” The Bread of heaven is spiritual food that completely nourishes the soul. Jesus declares “I am this bread!”

Listening but not understanding, the people struggle with the spiritual concept. Jesus, the Messiah, the Bread of heaven, sits in front of them, speaks directly to them; yet, they do not believe. Today, the Living Bread of heaven still calls each person into a relationship with Him, offers to love us, to meet all our spiritual needs, but like these people 2,000 years ago, we hesitate and sometimes step back further into the crowd. Jesus sees our uncertainty but repeats believe in Me. Jesus waits, and we remain hungry! 

Bread of life ~ sometimes my thoughts are dull and shallow. I say, Lord, always give us this bread, but I miss Your point. Believing doesn’t mean the answers will be simple or the questions easy, doesn’t come with a guarantee of life without difficulty or disappointment. As I find my nourishment in You, I discover new strength for the sadness, fresh hope for the hard times, and  inner joy for the journey. Jesus, I believe! – dho

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Lent - Spiritual Hunger

Living Bread ~ Jesus said to them, “I am the Bread of Life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” John 6:35               

Jesus replied, “I am the Bread of Life. No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry again. Those who believe in Me will never thirst. . . I am the living bread that came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; this bread is my flesh, offered so the world may live.” John 6:35,58 NLT

Jesus uses bread to explain the difference between meeting the physical needs of hunger and the spiritual needs of redemption. Our physical life requires ongoing nutrition to survive, while our spiritual growth requires an ongoing relationship with Jesus. The greatest difference between bread and living bread is that in Christ our souls know permanent nourishment, everlasting sustenance. 

How does one eat living bread? Believing that Christ’s death and resurrection brings each one new life and trusting the Holy Spirit for guidance is the beginning. Continuing to grow in our knowledge and faith sustains us. Sharing the Good News of Jesus, sharing the living bread with others gives an even deeper satisfaction. Christ came down out of heaven, and Perfect Love offered Himself so the world may live.
  • Hungry? How much time do you spend feeding your soul with Gods word? 
  • Will you commit to spending time with God - daily?

Living Bread ~ I am fed by an offering I cannot explain. Bread of Heaven, feed me ‘til I want no more. My God-story is full! – dho

Thursday, March 07, 2024

Lent - Bread of the Presence

Living Bread ~ Jesus said to them, “I am the Bread of Life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” John 6:35                                                                                       

Place the Bread of the Presence on the table to remain before Me at all times. Exodus 25:30 NLT

In giving explicit instructions to Moses about building a holy sanctuary, God’s plan is to be present with His people. Chapters 25-27 in Exodus provide the specific details for the Tabernacle in which the Ark of the Covenant would stay. The Tabernacle includes two distinct areas: an outer space called the Holy Place where the lampstand (menorah), the table, and the Bread of the Presence would be, and an inner space known as the Most Holy Place surrounded by curtains where the Ark of the Covenant stays. This Bread of the Presence, 12 loaves of unleavened bread baked fresh each week before the Sabbath, must be placed on the holy table in two piles of six to represent the twelve tribes of Israel. The Bread of the Presence depicts the people’s offering to God and God’s desire to always be present with His people.

Only to be eaten by the priests in a holy place, the Bread of the Presence of the Tabernacle can symbolize Jesus, the Bread of Life, an offering of atonement to God. Christ, as the true High Priest, enters the Most Holy Place as a blood sacrifice, an offering for all people. Christ becomes the New Covenant offering atonement for sins, offering forgiveness and grace and everlasting life. Jesus, the Holy One, becomes true bread, spiritual bread that satisfies the hungry. Jesus, always present, is the Bread of Life.

Lord, my life needs something constant and knowing You are always present calms me, reassures me, comforts me. Lord, always give us this bread.” Bread of the Presence and Bread of Life, Holy, Holy, Holy! I fall to my knees aware of Your unlimited love and grace. – dho