By Ben Gosden
Senior Pastor, Aldersgate UMC
There is a small bowl full of colored papers folded up next to the exit at my local YMCA. It took me a few months of working out regularly at my local YMCA to notice the little display next to the door as you exit. It’s in a spot where people post flyers about yard sales, upcoming community events, and program information for the Y. It’s easy to miss unless you’re looking for it or just accidentally see it.
Written on each piece of paper is a bible verse or a word of inspiration. And the little sign on the small bowl reads: “Bread of Life.” These little messages serve as small reminders that Christ is the bread of our life—the very thing that nourishes us to journey through this life as a witness of love and peace and grace. And to think that for months I failed to hear these messages as I hustled through my daily routine.
There are many days I don’t live up to this calling to be Christ’s witness in the world. There are also many days I miss the simple daily reminders that Christ is with me as I go through my routines. So many days you can feel like one of the Israelites walking through the wilderness, not knowing where your life is leading you next, and worrying about the future and the daily grind. Lord knows it’s easy to become a complainer— our world seems to cultivate complaining these days.
And yet, there is grace — sometimes small, sometimes it’s hard to see, sometimes it’s so simple and yet so life-giving that it does find you, you wonder how you ever could have missed something so special. Maybe Lent is the season where we can learn how to better train our eyes and ears and hearts to be the very people God created us to be.
How is God calling you, beckoning you, in the simple moments of your daily life? How have you heard the voice of God speak (even despite your own complaining) a word of hope, a word of grace, a word of love? It’s no accident that God gave the Israelites bread to start each day – without such simple gifts, we would have no hope of making it through our day.
Christ, our Bread of Life, is calling you. Come and be nourished that you might serve and nourish others. Christ offers himself as the bread of life broken for the sake of the world. And he calls us to be his body, broken and redeemed, for the sake of the world he loves. In big ways and even small ways (little colored pieces of paper, even!) Christ is reaching out to us in love and grace.
May we have eyes to see and ears to hear such gifts.
Prayer: Gracious God — Help us find the places where you are reaching out to us with your love and grace. May we see your “bread of life” being offered in all the areas of our lives. Amen.
1. What messages are you missing from God in your day to day life?
2. When has God given you a message of hope, grace or love?
3. How can you the Lenten season to have open eyes and ears to God’s calling?