Bread of life

I've recently been on holiday in Austria. One of the things I enjoy in the Tyrol is the 'Lüftmalerei' - wall paintings applied to freshly applied plaster on house walls. You can also see this in Bavaria in Germany.

Sometimes the wall-paintings take the form of false windows, as the one in this photo and the one below. They are on the outside of a baker's shop in Neustift in the Stubaital. The words above the 'window' mean literally
'our daily bread give us today'.
It is a quote from the Lord's Prayer and means
'give us what we need to live today'.
We need basic nourishment for the body - bread or other staple food, fresh each day. We also need sustenance for the spirit. There are many ways in which people seek and find that - through art, music, beauty, prayer, sport, sex, love...the list could go on. Ultimately the deepest hungers are not easily satisfied. We tend to always want more.

In thinking about the gospel reading for today (John 6: 24-35) I was struck by the simplicity of bread, easy to make with few ingredients, but delicious and sustaining. 

Jesus uses bread as a sign pointing to something much more profound - life itself, the source of all life, the one in whom all hungers are satisfied. Not just the gift of daily bread but the giver.

In the story of the Hebrew people, God provided miraculous 'bread from heaven' during the their wanderings in the wilderness. The crowd around Jesus after he fed the 5000 with 5 small barley loaves and 2 fish demanded 'bread from heaven'. Jesus' answer was that he is that bread. He is from heaven.

We are what we eat, what we regularly feed on, whether that is physical or spiritual food.

Jesus said,
"I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry..." John 6: 35 

Photos: my own


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