Welcome to the Sunday Devotion. Last Sunday afternoon the Washington, DC, Community of Christ was part of the annual Interfaith Council of Metropolitan Washington (IFCMW) Unity Walk. This walk is a post-9/11 event that follows a 2 mile path along which there are 11 different faith traditions. The annual Unity Walk brings together hundreds of people from all faiths and backgrounds in a public display of solidarity and hope. We are a nation in need of healing – healing from the COVID-19 pandemic, healing from the friction of partisan politics, healing from the threats of climate change, and healing from the turbulence of the world. This year’s theme was “Healing”. What healing do you need?
In Doctrine and Covenants 163:2b we are told, “Generously share the invitation, ministries, and sacraments through which people can encounter the Living Christ who heals and reconciles through redemptive relationships in sacred community. The restoring of persons to healthy or righteous relationships with God, others, themselves, and the earth is at the heart of the purpose of your journey as a people of faith.” As part of our outdoors open house, we offered an opportunity for people to pen their thoughts on healing in whatever words, phrases or prayers they wished to offer and add them to a link of our “Healing Chain”. What words of love, hope, forgiveness, or personal commitment would you put on your piece of the Healing Chain?
We engaged in some wonderful discussions with the over 100 people who stopped by. For some this was a yearly trek and it was truly special to reunite with one another. For many this was a first-time experience and it was indeed strengthening to share the commonality of being people of faith. It is that feeling of community and spiritual renewal that draws us to one another each Sunday- finding us here at this devotion or online or in-person in worship services. Where do you seek the renewal and healing of the Spirit?
May you walk a Unity Walk of your own where you feel the solidarity and hope of sacred community. Seek healing of your personal spirit and strengthen your relationship with God, others and the earth.
Dear God, the One who leads us, nudges us and ultimately waits for us as we walk our life’s journey. Thank you for your patience and your encouragement, for providing us opportunities to grow in our relationship with You and with others who walk life’s path with us and whose steps may cross our own. Help us to see the wounds and scars around us and be part of the healing. Help us see the purpose of our journey as a people of faith and be part of the hope and the promise of a better tomorrow. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen
Welcome to the Sunday Devotional. I’m so happy we can share this time together. For some of us, we are miles apart. For some of us, we haven’t even met yet. But we come together to share this special time, to seek a moment with each other and God. So take a breath, rest your mind and let’s share this time with our companion, Jesus.
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry…”. (John 6:35) Bread is a universal symbol of food. a food for all humanity. Rich or poor. Kings or homeless. Bread is a staple food in our lives, a food recognized by all, no matter the economic status. Close your eyes for a second and reflect on an image of bread that satisfies you or makes you smile.
Bread was a much sought-after food during the pandemic. It was so hard to find a loaf of bread on the grocery store shelves or even available through online shopping. Many of us turned to making our own bread at home. Then the very essence of most breads – yeast – became a scarce item, hoarded like toilet paper. This demonstrates the value we place on bread as one of the items we absolutely need when we need comfort. I saw many pictures on social media of the wonderful loaves of bread people were baking during the pandemic. Why was making bread such a satisfying accomplishment? I’ve shared weekday evening meals throughout this last year with my daughter and her family. They realized one evening that we had begun to add bread to our shared meals and that bread just seemed to make the meal complete. Having bread at the dinner table was pleasing and satisfying. It symbolized comfort and stability.
In the bible, bread is a shared food. We consider bread a symbol of hospitality and welcome. Guests were received with bread “Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves. “ (Genesis 18:5–6). There is something personal about sharing our meals, our “bread”. In Psalm 49 the psalmist laments that his friend, “the one who shared my bread”, has turned against him. Jesus shared a meal with his disciples, passing bread as a symbol of his body. Only days after Jesus’s resurrection “When they [the disciples] had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread.” Baked bread—an act of reconciliation to those who, only days earlier, had failed him (John 21:9). Did you know that “Bethlehem”, Jesus’ place of birth, in the Hebrew language means “House of Bread”? Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.” Those to whom he spoke would have recognized the power of that statement.
We love bread. If bread or rolls are baking in the oven, it is a special occasion and the aroma is magnetic. It brings a smile to our faces. We take a deep breath to let it seep into our senses. When a fresh loaf of bread is on the dinner table, we can hardly wait to take a bite. If Jesus is the bread of life, we should seek him with the same eagerness and enthusiasm with which we seek our bread at the dinner table.
Let’s welcome Jesus, the Bread of Life, at our table with the same longing for his comfort and that feeling of being made whole. Let’s crave his company, his peace. If everyone does not have bread, let us be the ones who pass the bread to them and share the love and peace of Jesus.
Each time you break open a roll, or tear off a piece of bread from a loaf, or sink your teeth into a muffin or bagel, think of Jesus, and silently say a thank you to God for giving us the Bread of Life.