Category Archives: witness

Bread

Bread

Reading today: Psalm 65, John 6:15-40

Remember Richard Rohr. He says, “All language about God is necessarily symbolic and figurative. Actually all language is metaphorical. Words are never the thing itself; they can only point toward the thing, which is exactly why “The Word became flesh” (John 1:14). As James Finley, a CAC core faculty member, often says, “Language is in service of the unsayable.” When it comes to comprehending God and the great mysteries of love and death, knowing has to be balanced by unknowing. Words can only point a finger toward the moon; they are not the moon or even its light. They are that by which we begin to see the moon and its light.”

Jesus often taught in parables. He used symbols and examples like “shepherd and sheep” and “vine and branches.” He did not mean He was actually a “cornerstone” but that even though rejected by the religious leaders (builders), He would be foundational to everything we believe. Metaphor is essential in trying to wrap our little brains around the vast and marvelous mysteries of God.

The challenge then, or at least one of them, is to distinguish between the language of fact and the language of faith, to decipher what is actual and what is allegorical. And apparently Jesus trusts us to do that or He would not have spoken to us in such figurative language. When our son Jacob was little he was the kid of a thousand questions. On the way to school every morning we had this conversation, “Daddy, did God make trees?” “Yes,” I would respond with great patience and kindness. “Daddy, did God make stars?” “Yes,” a little les patience. “Daddy, did God make elephants?” “Yes Jacob, God made everything.” Ah ha, he had me in his trap. “Daddy, did God make traffic lights?” I’m arguing creation theory with a 5 year old. “Jacob, God made men smart and they made traffic lights.”

God made everything is not factual language. It is faith language. It presupposes a heart understanding that God is far bigger than anything we can imagine and EVERYTHING has its origin in Him, even if it was assembled in a factory in Wallawalla, Michigan.

So, Jesus says, “I am the Bread of Life.” And the crowd, listening with self-centered, literal ears say, “I gotta get me some of that.” But Jesus, speaking the language of the heart says, “I am saying I am the essence of all life. The source of nourishment in all things. Spiritual. Physical. Emotional. It all comes from Me. Just like it all comes from My Father.” (Another metaphor.)

Here’s the lesson for today, whether I am reading John 3:16 or studying the nature of aerodynamics, whether I am watching The Shack or a sunrise over the Gulf of Mexico, I am learning something about God. Everything, all language, is metaphorical. It is not capable of, nor meant to portray ALL there is to know about the Creator of the Universe. We can only, with our frail thinking caps, get bits and pieces and try to put them together as best as our human imaginations will allow. That means I am encountering the Divine every minute of every day, when I am having my devotions and reading some whacky story about some guy’s grandkids, or when I am sitting at a traffic light that was assembled in a factory in Wallawalla, Michigan. So, go learn something about Jesus today, maybe when you eat a piece of bread.

Mike

The Calling of Reconciliation

The Calling of Reconciliation

The Calling of Reconciliation Psalm 53, John 1:35-51 On Tuesday Josh and Jennifer were explaining Lent to Jon-Mical and Jakson. They were telling the boys how some people traditionally give something up for the 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter to honor the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the cross. Jon-Mical, who… Continue Reading

40 Days of Reconciliation

40 Days of Reconciliation

Good morning! Here we go for 40 Days of Reconciliation during Lent. I am anticipating God working in and around me as I focus intentionally on Him. My challenge is that during Lent, from now to Easter we give something up, take something on, read the scripture daily, and pray daily. (I recommend praying three… Continue Reading

The Paper

The Paper

I loved breakfast at church camp in Batesburg, SC. We would stand in line outside the canteen, waiting for them to unhook the screen door and let 60 sleepy-eyed, bed-headed, teenagers stumble in to heaps of sausage links, scrambled eggs, and a huge pot of grits slathered with butter. We couldn’t even spell cholesterol in… Continue Reading

Making the Most of Movie Momentum

Making the Most of Movie Momentum

Making the Movie Momentum Matter One sportswriter said, “Momentum is a fickle dance partner.” Whether in business, baseball, or building a relationship, when things are going bad it’s hard to change. When momentum is moving in our favor, however, it makes sense to grab hold and dance until the music stops. For decades we in… Continue Reading

Kingdom Home

We are blessed I know to be able to play such an active role in the lives of our grandsons. Doris keeps the boys every day at their house while Josh and Jennifer teach school. Jon-Mical, who is 5, attends pre-k school across the street but Jakson, 2, stays with Mimi all day. This morning… Continue Reading