We are told repeatedly that Christians are in the world, but not of the world. Does that mean that Christians cannot have a piece of the pie, which the world has to offer? Do they have to remain poor and scrounge of the crumbs that fall from the table of the rich? What did Jesus have in mind, when he told his followers that they would be rewarded a hundred times for leaving their homes, families and relatives for his sake (Mt. 19:29)?
There are no free meals in this world. I have to pay for what I eat and for how much I eat. I also pay when I am called upon to feed someone. To be able to eat and feed I must follow this down to earth rule, “No rule will work, if I don’t.” Humor hits home at times. A man fell and hurt his leg. He went to the doctor, who bandaged him up and said, “Don’t worry! You’ll be walking before the day is over.” “He was right, said the patient, “I had to sell my car in order to pay him” (Murd. 232).
Bread making is everyone’s responsibility, even those of us, who are disabled. It is tragic, that more than half of the people in the developed western world are mentally disabled by a brand of thinking, which demands to be fed by the rich. The bad news is that the remaining rich are merely workers with sufficient income to pay their own taxes. They too are rapidly diminishing, and they are beginning to tell those, who depend on them without contributing to the breadbasket, “Go and feed your selves.”
Jesus, more than anyone, knew that bread and water were the two most important things in life. He told his spectators, “you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill” (Jn. 6:26). We are to make a daily request to heaven, “Give us today our daily bread” (Mt. 6:11). I was a young minister, when two young people sought my advice on how to resolve differences, before they were married. The groom was totally infatuated with her and she had apprehension about his uncertainties and lack of purpose. I foolishly insisted, that love would overcome their differences. Their problem was not love, but bread. Without food on the table, love ran out of options. After six months, the hot lover left his wife and country. After that disaster, I asked every couple, whether they had bread? Bread is to love, what work is to faith.
We go to church regularly and we enjoy worshipping. I was surprised when I was greeted by one person with a question, “Have you solved the world’s problems?” I smiled and mumbled an answer with another question to defend myself. After church, I began to ponder and the person’s question began to be a grain of salt in my mouth. It tasted like a bit of sarcasm. It reminded me of my boyhood days when our people in Eastern Poland believed that nothing could go wrong with God on their side. They were people of the land with mixed farming that produced ample food, especially bread. The war came and drove us from our land and our search for bread changed our world. We had forgotten why our ancestors had moved to that part of the world? This precisely is what Americans are forgetting. My next series shall be on how bread has and will continue to impact man’s existence.
Love without bread is absolutely meaningless. It is the kind of food that leaves us hungry and in want. The more we eat, the less we enjoy it. Ultimately, it even makes us sick, and we turn away from this kind of love. We end up blaming God for having led us to believe that love would be sufficient to take care of our mistakes or problems. This type of love is man-made and it is blind. The kind of love Jesus talked about puts bread on the table. Love lives on bread and not on fancy or wishful thinking.