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Bread alone

Bread alone

Something to read

The tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.’ But he answered, ‘It is written, “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’

- Matthew 4:3-4.

Something to think about

How many sins can you think of that begin with ‘self’? I got as far as selfishness, self-centredness, self-indulgence, self-reliance, and self-pity. But in a sense, all sin begins with self, because it happens when we take our eyes off of God and neighbour.

The temptations of Jesus in the desert are in some sense archetypal. They represent the lure of material goods, the desire to control God and circumstance, and the temptation to take power for ourselves. Much has been written about how these struggles might play out in more mundane circumstances, but I wonder if they all come together in that most ordinary of ambitions: ‘looking after my own’. Keeping our families fed and safe is of course not a wrong desire, but it can lead us to turn increasingly inwards, unable to either see and support the needs of others around us or to be vulnerable enough to receive help and hospitality from others in turn. Community is a great antidote to many of those ‘self’ sins.

Bread alone is not enough, in the sense that we need sustaining relationship with our creator. And bread alone is not enough, in the sense that feeding ourselves without feeding one another leaves everyone diminished.

Something to do

Give what you can to the East Africa Hunger Crisis Appeal.

Something to pray

Jesus, bread of life, thank you that you overcame every temptation that I could face. Help me to turn outwards in generosity and vulnerability, receiving from you and from others and sharing what I have so that no-one goes without. Amen.

Today’s contributor is Rev Claire Jones