Bible Workbench: Proper 13, August 2, 2009

Text: John 6:24-35

Reading Between the Lines

Go into the kitchen, and get out the flour, the honey, the salt, the yeast.  If you have to go to the store for something, then do that.  Make bread.  What more might you now know?

The best bread book I know of is the Tassajara Bread Book by Edward Espe Brown (Berkeley:  Shambala, 1970).  The “Ingredients” page quotes “a British chef” –

Love is not only the most important ingredient:
It is the only ingredient which really matters.

The cookbook begins:  “We need more cooks, not more cookbooks.” – Charles V. W. Brooks

“Bread makes itself, by your kindness, with your help, with imagination running through you, with dough under hand, you are breadmaking itself, which is why breadmaking is so fulfilling and rewarding.

“A recipe doesn’t belong to anyone.  Given to me, I give it to you.  Only a guide, only a skeletal framework.  You must fill in the flesh according to your nature and desire. Your life, your love will bring these words into full creation.  This cannot be taught.  You already know.  So please cook, love, feel, create.”

– Beth Harrison

Art in the Christian Tradition from Vanderbilt Divinity Library

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One response to “Bible Workbench: Proper 13, August 2, 2009

  1. John 6:24-35

    The crowd that Jesus had fed with the loaves and fishes discovered that he was no longer in their midst, and they had not absorbed or learned his lesson for them. Therefore they went en masse to find him. And that is all we really know about the crowd.

    A crowd is made up of many individuals, so were there hard workers, thieves, beggars, healthy, sick, rich, poor, loving, hating, merely curious, or those who had come only because someone else wanted a companion on that day? Probably all of these were present. Were they all Jews? We don’t know. But now they shared a common goal: to sustain the feeling of fulfillment they had experienced.

    When they found Jesus their question, “When did you come here?” demonstrates that they missed the point when he was last with them. And Jesus responds by telling them that they missed the signs.

    What were the signs?
    Did Jesus or his disciples require payment for the meal?
    Was anyone judged unfit to receive food because of his/her physical condition or appearance?
    Was food withheld because of someone’s past actions or anyone deemed unworthy?
    Was anyone required to earn his food?

    In each instance the answer is no. In this situation of physical hunger that was felt by all, justice occurred. All were fed; no one was left hungry. But the crowd missed that important sign.

    They then bring up the history of manna in the wilderness, and Jesus points out to them that this was God’s justice for all and “gives life to the world.” They want this metaphorical bread to continue, and Jesus bids them to see that what he has done is right and beneficial and to act in accordance; that in so doing their needs will be met, and they will hunger and thirst no more. Once again he has told them to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” That is what justice is all about, and justice is one of the hallmarks of the Kingdom of God.

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