One of the good things about living where I live, is that there’s great Italian food! We have so many great places where the owners have Italian accents. You almost hear the Godfather theme when you walk in the door. There are also Italian bakeries. There’s this one legendary Italian bakery near my house that has such great bread that I find it irresistible. This stuff is fragrant, chewy, and flavorful. Perfect.
In John 6:35 Jesus says, “I am the Bread of Life. Come to me everyday and you will never be hungry…”
We know that in Matt. 26, Jesus while eating his last meal with his disciples took the bread, and blessed it, broke it and gave it to his disciples. He said, “This is my body, eat it.” Like the bread, Jesus himself was chosen by the Father, He was blessed, and broken and given on the cross for sins of the world.
As his daughter, God is reproducing the likeness of Jesus in me and therefore has called me to be bread for the world. Recently I reread Henri Nouwen’s book, Life of the Beloved. He tells of how he has embraced these theme’s for his life. I think they look a little different for me as a woman, a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister and a friend to both to my natural and spiritual family.
As a modern woman what does it mean to be chosen, blessed, broken and given in today’s world? They never wrote about this in magazines like Marie Claire or Cosmopolitan. There is no website or app about it. So let’s examine these facets of the ministry of Jesus, and see how they apply our lives as disciples today. First up, chosen.
Jesus took the bread, but he also chose it. Once upon a time, at weddings, the preacher used to ask the groom, “Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?” Take? The groom actually chose the bride, so for our purpose here we’re gonna switch the word ‘taken’ for the word ‘chosen.’ It sounds nicer and it means the same thing. It’s not a kidnapping after all.
God chose us.
Acts 17 says, “God knew the time and place in history that each of us would be born.” He chose us, meaning he enabled us. His grace enabled us to respond to the love poured out for us.
God had a dream in his heart when you were conceived, He wrapped that dream in flesh and blood. That dream was you. When you opened your heart to redeeming love of God, the Holy Spirit chose to come in and fill your heart. Being chosen by God isn’t to exclusion of others either, it’s just the opposite. Being chosen by God means that we are included in his beautiful family. There isn’t a quota. Everyone is invited to be children of God. At the same time, you are unique and beloved in his eyes. Only God has unlimited room in his heart for many ‘favorite’ sons and daughters.
When we walk in our Beloved-ness, we are protected from the snare of comparison. We are included because we are found in Christ, not because of our skin tone or our muscle tone!
We are included. Always. I’m no longer subject to mean girls who say, “You can’t sit there. I’m saving these seats for my friends.” My sitting at the ‘cool-kids table’ is now guaranteed because The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have made a place for me at the their table. Because I’m the Bride of Christ, I’m included. This truth has the power to keep me from getting offended because I was excluded or uninvited. Jesus includes me every single time, and He’s not moody or hormonal. He embraces me.
For some reason the wounded-ness that occurs when we are excluded, ignored, overlooked, or worse, voted off the team or unfriended can leave us really scarred. Sometimes these traumatic events happen in childhood, but they also happen to us as adults.
Full disclosure. When I feel threatened, intimidated or afraid at an event like a conference or a meeting because I’m alone and lacking confidence,
I picture myself arriving with Jesus by my side. I have my hand through his arm and the phrase in my head is, “I’m with him.” He has all access. The lie in my head is, “You’re not qualified to be here.”or “Who do you think you are?” My answer: “I’m with him!” Jesus has all access, and I’m with him. He qualifies me. He chose me before the foundation of the world. I have to keep that in mind sometimes.
The culture around us will tell us that we are not enough, but the voice of God calls us to sit at his table. Jesus invites us…always.
Up next... Blessed.
It’s kinda weird how you can have measure of contentment and thankfulness and at the same time still want more. I think a certain amount of ‘pining for more’ is the nature of being human and wanting to create or explore something new is a good thing. Dreaming is healthy. There’s another kind of longing that comes from the human heart. “There’s gotta be more than this!” I think this is the cry that comes because you were made in God’s image but you don’t know Him well enough to know why you were created. I mean, “What’s it all for?” Is a legitimate question.
I love the Old Testament story of Rahab because I think when she saw the spies in her house who had come from the Israelites to spy out the city of Jericho in order to conquer it, her heart leapt. The only way she would’ve helped these two so quickly is that she was ready for change. After all, she’s called Rehab the prostitute, so I believe the cry of her heart was, “There’s gotta be more to life than this!” So when she met them, the voice in her head said, “Yes! This is what I’ve been waiting for!” So she hid them, she lied to the city officials and helped them escape! When her city was later conquered, she was able to save her family because of the promise she had made to the spies. Pretty exciting! Ultimately one of those spies, Salmon, married her and she is included in the lineage of Jesus.
It’s good to know that God understands that life on earth isn’t always easy. Jesus walked around in sandals; it was hot and dirty. He understands our hunger and longing because he too wanted good things for his loved ones. Longing with optimism is called hope. Hope is waiting with expectation. Just like my girl, Rahab, God is excited to fulfill your deepest soul-cravings.
Psalm 107 says, ”He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry he fills with good things.” I here to tell you that his plans for you are good. He’s not a fraud nor is he hiding. His table is waiting for you and it’s full of gourmet food for you and the ones you love!
If you want more thoughts on Rahab and her friends, pick up my book, More Cake….