"What Are You Hungry For?"
by Pastor Bill Geis

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
(John 6:51)

As I write, the Geis family vacation is in its final hours. We’ve covered a lot a ground—literally and experientially. We traveled the highways (mostly tollways when you head east). We visited potential colleges for Erica. We climbed mountains and swam in the ocean. We traveled through American History from Independence Hall to the battlefield of Gettysburg, from the monuments of Washington DC to Times Square.

[IMG_1609.JPG] In all our travels, perhaps the most challenging decision for a family of four is, “what are you hungry for?” Along the way, we traveled through our own eating adventures as well. One of the memorable eating stops was the City Tavern in Philadelphia. We enjoyed a lunch there realizing that we were eating in the middle of history. Though the building was rebuilt after a 19th century fire, nevertheless, here was the ground where informal meetings of the First Continental Congress took place. America’s patriots not only satisfied their hunger for food in this place, they were preparing the ground for the hunger of freedom.

As I think about our vacation, I realize that it was an opportunity to fill many of my personal “cravings.” It was a precious time to be with my quickly growing children. It was a time to renew and rest. It was a time to revisit and appreciate our nation’s heritage and lessons. It was a time to enjoy personal goals of bicycling along the Hudson, Potomac and Schuylkill rivers. It was a time to talk and laugh, to hike and lounge, to wonder and pray together. As I reflect on these quick two weeks, I realize how hungry I have been for such experiences.
My daughter Monica raises her glass in a toast at the City Tavern in Philadelphia  

Hunger is certainly more complex than our need for food. What are you hungry for? Are you hungry for rest, for fulfillment, for recreation, for security, for inspiration, for peace, for healing, for hope, for love? We all have hunger pains.

Jesus desires to feed our hunger with something more than food or success or vacations can provide. He gives himself to you. He desires to be the “bread” of your life. I know it’s easier said than realized.

“This bread is my flesh,” he proclaims. We know that his flesh wouldn’t take a vacation, but suffer a cross. His flesh is sacrificed to the twin headed monster of sin and death. It is this perpetually hungry demon that is eating up our souls, tormenting our thoughts and destroying our relationships. We try to feed it with all sorts of answers of our own—pleasures and excesses, worry and fear, endless toil and wasted energy. Jesus offers himself as the bread that feeds your deepest hunger.

When I’m hungry for food or even for the refreshment of a vacation, Jesus doesn’t seem to be the first answer to turn to. He doesn’t mean we go without food or rest either. But he aims to join himself to our food and our rest, our relationships and our work. So in your daily work and in your leisure, in your frustrations and in your triumphs, include “the bread of life” in all your travel plans.

(c)2009 St. John's Lutheran Church and School | 505 S Park RD | La Grange IL 60525 | www.sjlagrange.com
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