John 6:35, 41-51
When we hear Jesus referring to Himself as the “Bread of Life’, it is tempting to quickly move toward a spiritual interpretation. But those who are hungry and thirsty who come to Christ are not detached from actual physical needs resulting from an unjust economic system in the world. The current global pandemic reveals how the poor are easily left behind in high-level decisions of financial institutions and governments. Economic uncertainties further challenge us to re-examine our core ethical values and our vision of God, fellow human beings, and the whole of creation.
Jesus — the bread of life — taught us to pray: “Give us today our daily bread”. We can taste and eat this bread. When we share in holy communion, we receive bread and the wine and are strengthened by the presence of the living Christ to live out the Christian life. This goes beyond feeling good during our corporate worship remotely or in-person. The promise of eternal life does help some to cope with personal anxieties and insecurities. But it must be more: our beliefs about eternal life should impact on what happens in our daily lives. Jesus, “the living bread that came down from heaven” is concerned with “the life of the world” (John 6:51). With this in mind, Paul warns the church in Ephesus, “Thieves must give up stealing; rather, let them labour and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy” (Ephesians 5:28). These words not only speak to individuals and churches; they are also relevant to financial institutions and governments who often find themselves preoccupied with profit rather than people.
A faithful spiritual response to the bread of life invites us to move beyond ourselves to re-engage the rich theological and ethical resources in our faith tradition for an economy of life. Indeed, we can become part of the answer to our prayer that promotes a life-flourishing economy: “Your kingdom come… Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”.
-Sivin Kit, Lutheran World Federation
Bread of life,
you taught us to put away bitterness and anger, and with tender-hearted kindness
to share the fruit of our labour with the needy. Strengthen us by your grace,
that in communion with you, we may forgive one another
and live in love as Christ loved us. Amen.
Partner in Mission
We pray for the leaders of all member churches, that God will grant them vision and wisdom.
We pray for the growth of churches as they serve the people of the communities in which they are planted.
We pray for the young people of member churches to be active and involved in leadership.
-Ayana McCalman, CWM Partner in Mission (Africa)