Sunday, August 09, 2009

Let Them Eat Plain White Bread

Of all the different breads in the world, which is your favorite?

This morning, I opened the fridge and discovered that the milk bandits had visited during the night. Of all the important questions of the day, one of the most important is "What's for breakfast?" Today, the answer was, "Whatever you can forage up." Gone too was the blackberry jam, so cinnamon toast made from the heel of a loaf of whole wheat bread was the best I could come up with.

Was my breakfast more satisfying than Elijah's in today's Old Testament lesson, 1 Kings 19:4-8? An exhausted Elijah prayed and asked, "O LORD, take away my life." The Lord instead gave him cakes and water. His fresh baked cakes were presented by an angel of the Lord. My mistake this morning must have been that I did not start out the morning with a prayer such as, "Lord, what's for breakfast?" I might have gotten cake instead of poorly made cinnamon toast. Elijah's cakes sustained him through a forty day and forty night journey to Horeb. My cinnamon toast had to carry me through until coffee hour.

Sticking with the bread theme that the Sunday readings have given us the past few weeks, we heard John 6:35,41-51. Because of the missing verses problem in the RCL (discussed in earlier posts), I present the missing verses bracketed by the included ones:

35 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.

But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.’

41 Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven.’

Once again, I am puzzled by the omission of important verses. They might present a challenge or two, but hey, that's what the preacher is getting paid for, right?

Our sermon today was another reiteration of the theme of the gospel of good works, and as such, does not merit further comment except to say that I was left feeling a bit like I do when served plain white bread. I knew that there was something missing. It was the usual, no discussion of the uniqueness of Christ, of salvation, of eternal life. There is a lot of meat in John's Gospel. I simply didn't get enough ingredients to make a proper sandwich.

At coffee hour I was rescued; I indulged in homemade Pistachio friendship bread. Unique, tasty, different, but I think my favorite bread was served up earlier, in John 6:35.


  1. Anonymous9:57 AM

    Though my theology is very different from that of the Pewster, it would be good to have more theology from the pulpit. "Good works" sermons are just bland.

  2. It appears that Episcopal seminaries have ceased awarding the MDiv in favor of awarding an MSW.