An Endless Buffet

Happy New Year! What are your plans, hopes, and dreams for this new year? Well, my hope is that some of them involve growing in your faith; for we all could use a tune-up when it comes to our relationship with Christ. Yes, we always have growing to do and as we begin a new year, what better time to start fresh and grow closer to the One whose birth we just celebrated?! Furthermore, what better time to discover who it is that we met at the manger; that is, who is this Jesus whom we call our Savior? In the Gospel of John, Jesus provides us a glimpse of who he is through various statements of identification, known as the “I AM” statements. These statements are a means of his self-identification and together they paint us a picture of just who exactly “Emmanuel, God with us” is. And for us, a better understanding of these statements helps us grow in our relationship with him. So, for the next several weeks, we are going to take a look at these seven statements as we start fresh and grow in our faith in this new year. This will take us right up into Lent, when we will move into understanding the roads Jesus traveled during his ministry – roads which show us just how powerful and moving his ministry was and is for all of us…roads that eventually lead to his ultimate purpose and gift for us. Thus, my hope is that we will gain an understanding of who Jesus is and then move into Lent and gain an understanding of what Jesus’ ministry was and what it means for us.

Today we begin this journey by looking at Jesus’ statement: “I am the bread of life.” What does this tell us about him and what does it mean for us and our relationship with him? Well, think about it this way. All of us have a desire to be fed and to receive nourishment. This goes for our physical and our spiritual nourishment. However, the world feeds us a lot of bad things – poor nourishment, if you will. What we truly need is nourishment that never ends – and endless buffet, of sorts. And that comes to us through the Bread of Life. Jesus provides us all the nourishment we need to face a changing, scary, and uncertain world. Come, taste the Bread of Life and in so doing grow in your relationship with the One who came for us all!