The focus seems to be continually shifting. And all there is to do is pray Jesus, fix our eyes on You. Draw us to You.
Your eyes are open and they are closed and always, always we're swamped with I want this and how it could go like that. And you recite it over and over, "When they opened their eyes and looked around, all they saw was Jesus, only Jesus."
The book of John has these words that Jesus spoke, over and over. Life, real and eternal.
Deep into the countryside, they sat down. Wanderers, the lot of them. And God of Heaven, His heart broke.
Compassion, to suffer with.
He turns to his disciples. "These people are hungry."
What's he want us to do? There's not enough bread to give everyone a fistful of crumbs. Heck, there's not enough to satisfy ten men.
Then he says this: What do you have?
What do you have?
The disciples give over what they know equates to absolutely nothing.
Jesus takes the bread, lifts his face to Heaven.
Blesses it, thanks God for it,
Gives it to the disciples, who give it to the people.
They eat their fill. Are satisfied.
Jesus says to the disciples, gather the leftovers. All the broken pieces.
This grand admission: "I AM the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever.
Anyone who sees the Son and trusts who he is and what he does and then aligns with him will enter real life, eternal life. My part is to put them on their feet alive and whole at the completion of time."
[align] to join with others
To be aligned with Christ.
That last day. The last day with the mates, reclining around the table. The Master, on the night of his betrayal, took bread. Having given thanks, he broke it and said, this is my body, broken for you.
It's only when the focus shifts and you're praying it, not boldly but desperately, Jesus open my eyes. Open them. Open our eyes so that we can see.
And you read. What Paul said, So let's live out our part in the Feast... as flat bread -- simple, genuine, unpretentious.
It's the beginning of Corinthians where the eyes, they're not so tightly squinted shut. "God... shares with us the life of His Son and our Master Jesus."
And it's this:
"When we drink the cup of blessing, aren't we taking into ourselves the blood, the very life, of Christ? And isn't it the same with the loaf of bread we break and eat? Don't we take into ourselves the body, the very life, of Christ?
Because there is one loaf, our manyness becomes oneness -- Christ doesn't become fragmented in us. Rather, we become unified in Him. We don't reduce Christ to what we are; He raises us to what He is."
It's this, because of what happened at the cross. Because of Who was in the center.
Deuteronomy 15, "Don't for a minute forget that you were once slaves in Egypt and God, your God, redeemed you from that slave world."
And the boy preached it, and he said, I'm not going back to Egypt. Joshua and Caleb went with the other men and scouted out the land, the Promised land.
"There's giants," the men said. "We can't take them."
And the boy preached it, what Joshua and Caleb said. Look to the Promise, not the giant.
All those laws and regulations, they go on and on and on.
So they wouldn't forget. Wouldn't forget it was God who had rescued them from the old life.
"God wasn't attracted to you and didn't choose you because you were big and important -- the fact is, there was almost nothing to you. He did it out of sheer love, keeping the promise He made to your ancestors. God stepped in and mightily bought you back out of that world of slavery, freed you from the iron grip of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know this: God, your God, is God indeed, a God you can depend on." Deuteronomy 7
It's here, it's the foot of the cross.
The Bread broke itself.
And you know, absolutely, that this is true:
It's written in pretty colours and everything, but maybe it was really written in blood. Blood that poured out from Jesus' side. Maybe it's not proclaimed in a gentle whisper but in the anguish expelling as the nails were hammered deep. From the inside of Jesus' palm to the outside. Pounded into the hand that rescued us from Egypt.
And we break bread.
And we become the Body.
We don't become whole on our lonesome.
Because we are broken.
And a broken piece, it can't become whole. It will always be broken.
When we drink the cup of blessing, aren't we taking into ourselves the blood, the very life, of Christ? And isn't it the same with the loaf of bread we break and eat? Don't we take into ourselves the body, the very life, of Christ?
Because there is one loaf, our manyness becomes oneness -- Christ doesn't become fragmented in us. Rather, we become unified in Him. We don't reduce Christ to what we are; He raises us to what He is.
We're simple flat bread, ordinary clay pots.
He came to share His life with us.
Our manyness becomes oneness --
our brokeness becomes whole.
Christ doesn't become fragmented in us: we become unified in Him.
It's what he prayed in chapter seventeen, the goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind -- Just as You, Father, are in me and I in You, So they might be one heart and mind with us.
And this is the real and eternal life:
that they know you, the one and only true God,
and Jesus Christ,
whom You sent.
Really it was the holes that enabled us to become whole.
The disciples only had the few loaves of bread because Christ had given them.
And it's only because they sobered up to the nothingness that they were that they were able to give Christ what they had,
and because of Christ, it was enough.
It is always enough.
We have nothing and we know nothing and we are nothing.
And Christ says what do you have and we can look at him, raise our eyebrows and say, sorry. What I've got right here, this here what I'm holding on to --
this is all I've got left to sustain me.
And Jesus says, bring them here.
We scan the area. The lake, little kids splashing about on the edge. Let them catch their own fish. All Jesus has to say is, "Put your nets over the other side."
And what's he do? He took the five loaves and the two fish.
We're together in this. Unified.
Overwhelming our fears with His grace,
The five loaves were never going to sustain any one of us. Not even with the addition of two fish.
It's the foot of the cross. It's the reason we don't have to stay in Egypt, the old country, the place our sins are sovereign,
He told the lady at the well about how if she drank his water, she'd never be thirsty. He told the people if they ate his bread, they'd never be hungry.
Outstretched arms, the invitation to this new life.
To share in His life.
The only life that ever satisfies,
because it is Christ.
There is nothing left to lose,
and there is nothing more to gain.
Because Jesus satisfies.
All, only, Jesus.
Nothing gained or attained or achieved ever results in any kind of fulfilment.
It is everything Jesus.
He takes the bread, blesses it, breaks it. Gives it to the the disciples. Who give it to the people.
All eat. All are satisfied.
This becoming whole,
it's Jesus breaking with us and sharing His life with us,
wholeness erupting as it breathes,
as we inhale, exhale, grace.
We lift our faces and know You are,
Living Present God.
The clouds are flags of Your faithfulness.
He gave thanks before breaking the bread.
Before becoming whole.
Let's give thanks,
eat the broken bread,
of the body that broke
we become whole.
All, only, Christ.
Real and eternal.