February 16, 2005

Bread of Life / Crystal



Bread seems to be a theme for the gospels ... the feeding of the five thousand, the bread of life, the last supper, the breaking of bread with the risen christ with disciples.

So they said to him, "What can we do to accomplish the works of God?"
Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent."


... to me this says that Jesus isn't just the finger pointing at the moon :-)

For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.

... Reminds me of a line from the opera, Andrea Chenierthe ... I am the god that comes down from the heavens and makes of the earth a heaven - I am love

I will not reject anyone who comes to me

... I find this reassurring.

Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.


... Jesus transcends Moses.

Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.

... the NAB says that the verb used in these verses is not the classical Greek verb used of human eating, but that of animal eating: "munch," "gnaw" - interesting. This reminds me of a science fiction classic, Stranger in a Strange Land, where the main character's followers are instructed to eat him after he is killed :-). These lines foreshadow the last supper and set up the eucharist/communion.

8 Comments:

At 3:18 p.m., Blogger david said...

Nice pic yet again Crystal.

The word munch or gnaw. Don't know what word that was. But I do know the medieval word the monks used to talk about lectio divina was ruminatio -- the word for the way cows chewed their cud. Meditation on scripture involved hearing it read aloud and tehn repeating it over in the mind -- sort of like how a cow eats grass then coughs it up to chew on some more!

And I think you are dead on about Christ transcending Moses here. I think that is an issue for John.

 
At 3:27 p.m., Blogger Rich in Brooklyn said...

I've been following kwakersaur's other blog for awhile, but hadn't happened on the kwakersaur scripture study blog until today. It looks great, though I haven't had time to get very deeply into it yet.

I host a blog mostly for the use of my friend John Edminster so that he can post the scripture passages he selects each week for a brief Bible reading before meeting for worship at Fifteenth Street Meeting in Manhattan. His commentary is pretty bare bones, but the selection of passages based on a theme is very interesting. John is a bit more of a scholar than I will ever be and occasionally he even uses his own translations from the Greek to illuminate some point or other. I invite anyone interested to check it out:
Weekly Scripture

 
At 3:43 p.m., Blogger Larry said...

You said,
"So they said to him, "What can we do to accomplish the works of God?"
Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent."

... to me this says that Jesus isn't just the finger pointing at the moon :-)"

If you believe Jesus said it. I personally don't believe that we accomplish the works of God by believing, but by doing. Was it James who said, "the devils also believe, and tremble"?

Another way of looking at this is that to "believe in" Jesus means to do what he said.

 
At 6:24 p.m., Blogger crystal said...

David - yes, I've heard that mastication thing too ... as long as we don't also do the methane thing, it will be ok :-)

Brooklyn - welcome. I'll drop by your blog, and I'm sure the others will too.

Larry - oh, I see, you mean that belief isn't enough - that good works count ... heh, I'll make a good catholic of you yet :-). Yes, I agree with you. Ignatius said in the Spiritual Exercises that love is best shown in deeds. I just meant that it sounds here to me (the scriptural passage) that Jesus is a deal-breaking part of the package of doing God's work, so he's not the finger pointing at the moon but sort of the moon himself, if that makes any sense.

 
At 11:29 p.m., Blogger Meredith said...

Crystal,
Thank you for sharing that line from the opera, Andrea Chenierthe ... I am the god that comes down from the heavens and makes of the earth a heaven - I am love. That is so beautiful. This reminds me of something my spiritual friend tells me - and that is that heaven is right here, right now. We just need to be awake to it. And so often, it is in love that we notice!

 
At 10:52 a.m., Blogger Larry said...

Crystal: not the finger, but the moon?

I agree, as long as you understand that you, too may be a part of the moon.

"Beloved, even now are we sons of God, and it doth not yet appears what we shall be."

 
At 10:55 a.m., Blogger david said...

I think Crystal was referring to an earlier discussion some months ago of a zen koan: when the finger points at the moon only a dog (or is it fool?) looks at the finger.

 
At 6:46 p.m., Blogger Marjorie said...

ah, yes, believing and doing -- I've been reflecting on this a lot recently. I believe in Jesus, the creeds, the whole lot of it. I'm done, right? I've got a niggling feeling that there is something I'm supposed to be doing now but I'm dragging my feet. Now, I believe, so I'm fine, yes? But, what if Jesus/God, is in fact trying to led me somewhere and I'm not going? Sort of shows a lack of belief, yes? So, maybe I'm not so okay until I get going to where he wants me to be. But I could be wrong about where I'm being led, so perhaps I'm fine where I am. Yeah, its a bit thorny for me right now.

 

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