Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35, NRSVUE)
During survival training in the Rocky Mountains, the cadets return to camp on Sunday morning for worship services. They have spent a week in the woods evading capture and surviving on very little food. The chaplains leading the service bring loaves of bread for communion. And the starving students tear off large hunks of bread from our hands and soak them in grape juice, savoring every bite. They leave the service spiritually and physically fed, ready to go into the woods for another week of training. They had enough to eat for one day, but they will be hungry again within a few days. Some of them will return to the chapel at the Academy, but not all of them. Some seek rank, power, and influence, but others seek God.
When Jesus said he was the bread of life, he had just fed the crowd the day before, and they were not satisfied. They wanted more, but they did not know what they wanted. He told them they would always hunger for bread, but he would provide them with spiritual satisfaction. As I begin the season of Lent and my forty-day spiritual journey, I hunger for spiritual satisfaction with the same sense of urgency and desire those cadets had for physical satisfaction. I know that there will be times when I grumble because I don’t have everything I want. I am grateful that Jesus feeds me with his words and example in a way that sustains me until he comes again.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for nourishing our bodies and souls. Help us learn to be satisfied with what we have and desire what only you can provide. Bless us on our journey and thank you for providing what we need to live. Amen.
Lisa Hansen is a retired Air Force Chaplain who now serves as a pastor in Pasadena, CA. An ally for the LGBTQIA+ community, she advocated for the end of “Don’t Ask, “Don’t Tell.” She enjoys hiking, movies, and watching the sunset over the Pacific Ocean.