For the past five weeks (July 26 – August 23), we took our journey through the Gospel of John Chapter 6 according to the schedule of the Revised Common Lectionary. The key theme of Chapter 6 is the bread of life, and I delivered my sermons in a series that named after it. I tried to bring some fine meditations on the theme, and now whether my effort was enough or not, I leave unto the Lord the rest!
The bread of life comes from Jesus’ famous statement, “I am the bread of life” (6:48). And this statement is the first one of the six “I Am (Ego Eimi)” statements of Jesus in the Gospel of John. They are as follows:
6:35 - I Am the Bread of Life
8:12 - I Am the Light of the World
10:11 - I Am the Good Shepherd
11:25-26 - I Am the Resurrection and the Life
14:6 - I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life
15:1, 5 - I Am the True Vine
Jesus reveals himself through these “I Am” statements. But by the bread of life statement, by that unique metaphor of “bread,” Jesus especially discloses the fact that he completely offers his own body and blood on the cross as the bread of life for the everlasting life of all; the self-giving, self-denying, and self-sacrificing love of Jesus is the only food that can satisfy spiritual hunger and nurture shadowed human souls.
The Son of God calls himself the ordinary daily food, the bread…and actually becomes the bread for our salvation. What a gracious deed of God! And how precious holy mystery! Thanks be to God.
Leaving behind the sermon series and our journey through the Chapter six of John’s Gospel, there is a short hymn that I would love to share with you. This hymn tremendously inspired me during writing the sermons. The original title of the hymn is Panis Angelicus, which means, “bread of angels.” The words are from Saint Thomas Aquinas who is one of the greatest medieval theologians. I hope you enjoy this hymn today and meditate upon the bread of life further in your life. Click the link below and enjoy it!
May the Bread of Angels Panis angelicus
Become bread for mankind; fit panis hominum;
May the Bread of Heaven put Dat panis cœlicus
To all foreshadowing the end; figuris terminum:
Oh, thing miraculous! O res mirabilis!
This body of God will nourish Manducat Dominum
The poor, the servile, and the humble. Pauper, servus et humilis.
Pastor Earl Kim's weekly reflections