26 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. 27 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.”
28 They asked, “What must we do in order to accomplish what God requires?”
29 Jesus replied, “This is what God requires, that you believe in him whom God sent.”
30 They asked, “What miraculous sign will you do, that we can see and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, just as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”
32 Jesus told them, “I assure you, it wasn’t Moses who gave the bread from heaven to you, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 The bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34 They said, “Sir, give us this bread all the time!”
35 Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
Jesus’ words about the reasons to be thankful remind us of how God gives sustenance for our souls. This food will be much more satisfying than anything we can eat. In John’s gospel, this story came just after Jesus miraculously fed thousands on a hilltop.
In Jesus’ time it was the next day. People came hungry once more looking for food. Jesus says do not just come looking for food because your bellies are grumbling. He reminds them that any food that they eat does not originate from human hands but by God’s hand. People need much more than just food to eat and Jesus wants to change their focus to the feast that’s for each day. It is a feast for our souls! “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry….”
As for us, now it’s black Friday. Now it’s also the day after a great feast, Thanksgiving. Prayerfully and hopefully, we have celebrated and enjoyed our Thanksgiving dinners with all the trimmings. What a blessing it is to be able to share the traditional feast however we can. May we, in turn, pause remembering to not just to refill our grumbling bellies. May we pause to give thanks to the Holy One who sustains us with a feast for our souls every day. Jesus, change our focus to thanksgiving each and every day.
by Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
Many do pause in prayer on Thanksgiving, but only on that day. How do we remember to pause in prayerful thanksgiving each and every day? How does Jesus provide sustenance for your soul?
Prayer: Change my focus, Lord. Help me to return to you, not only with a grumbling belly, but also searching for the bread of life that sustains my soul today and always. Amen.