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new collage: bread alone

"bread alone"
mixed media collage (bread tabs, cut paper, acrylic paint, glue on stretched canvas)
february, 2019
gregory a. milinovich

"one does not live by bread alone," said Jesus, when he was out in his own spiritual wilderness, feeling hungry and tempted to use his power to satisfy his own wishes.  the voice of the tempter came to him, saying, "c'mon....look at all these stones...if you wanted, you could easily turn them to could satisfy your hunger, and instantly meet all the needs of the world." 

it had to be tempting. 

but Jesus knew that there was more than just bread and stones at stake here.  he knew that "easy fixes" wouldn't really be an answer to the problem of evil and brokenness.  he knew that bread was going to need to be broken, in order to really provide the wholeness that the world was so desperately hungry for. 

so he quoted scripture.  he recalled deuteronomy 8, where the israelites were remembering how God led them through their own wilderness journey, and how God provided daily bread for them.  this manna from heaven (what is it?) was provided each day in a quantity that was sufficient for that day alone.  there was no hoarding.  there was no stockpiling.  there was no us and them, or "in" and "out."  there was only this overwhelming sense that what they had was coming from God.  there was only the undeniable truth that life was about more than bread, but about "every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord" (deut. 8:3). 

and then that word (logos) became enfleshed.  the word that was with God and was God?  that "word" that proceeds from God, and is the thing that gives us life?  that word is Jesus.  he came and dwelt among us so that we might have life overflowing.  he is the bread of the world; bread that isn't about easy fixes, but about self-sacrificial love.  bread that is broken, for the wholeness of the world. 

that bread of life was broken by death, but rose victorious in life. 

see, we don't live by bread alone. 
but by the bread of life. 
by the word that proceeds from the mouth of God. 
Jesus is that word. 
Jesus is the bread of life. 
Jesus is the bread that was broken.
Jesus is the Love that is stronger than all the death and brokenness evil could throw at him.
Jesus is the one who told us that love is our highest calling.
Jesus is the one who gave us a new commandment,
   that we love one another as he has loved us.
Jesus is the one who told us that the way people would know we are his followers
   is our love. 

so in these days of brokenness, may we remember the love to which we are called.  may we remember that the bread from heaven was for all.  may we remember that we do not live by bread (or institutions, or right opinions, or passionate dogma) alone, but by the very Word of God, the One who is Love: Jesus. 


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