Bread of Life

A small group I attend when I’m in town has been studying “The Journey: Walking the Road to Bethlehem” by Adam Hamilton. The book and accompanying video are an attempt to connect us with the locations where the events surrounding Jesus’ birth occurred.

Sometimes I think writers will stretch things a little to make a good story (there are times I suspect Paul did that, too). This is worth considering.

Hamilton considers the “manger” (one group member noted that if you read that word in French, it means “to eat”) where Jesus was placed as in a crib (don’t know if they had cribs back then). Anyway, take this tour of logic–manger, a place to eat; Bethlehem, literal meaning “house of bread”; Jesus said “I am the bread of life”; his next to last day, this bread represents my body. He tries to tie it all together.

Early Christians placed great importance on experiencing Jesus. He was in their midst when they met to sing, pray and study. It wasn’t until about 340 AD that the church decided that doctrine took precedence over experience. That is a struggle that we still face today among many Christian groups.

As for me, I place precedence with experience. Sometimes the experience of Jesus just breaks through the fog with shining light and clarity. Sometimes it’s a little bit at a time that comes through Spiritual practice–serving others, studying when a breakthrough occurs, worship when the songs and prayers penetrate your fog.

May Jesus be your Bread of Life.

We’re in the last week before we celebrate Jesus’ birth and his coming into the world and coming into our lives. This is a great time to hone those spiritual practices–be a servant to someone; meditate on the word; pray for God’s guidance; worship with praise and thanks.

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