Several years ago, while I was on vacation in Canada I was introduced to my mother’s cat, Dolly. Mean is not a strong enough word for this feline version of Satan. Sharp teeth, long claws, and an attitude of proportions that are too large to describe. The one thing about this cat is how enormous she was. She looked like a black and white basketball with legs. This cat would eat constantly if you let her. She would walk between your feet, follow you everywhere, and wouldn’t let up until you fed her. It was so bad, my mom had to keep all food products out of this cat’s reach, or the cat would eat it. And I mean anything. Bread, fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese, literally anything. The cat was so big, she couldn’t even lay on her side like a normal cat would. She had to rock herself from side to side until gravity allowed her to fall onto one side or the other. And when she finally fell over on one side she would roll completely around. And watching her get up was sad. I asked my mom why this cat eats so much, and she told me that when the cat was born, it had been abandoned by its mother and had almost starved to death. Once the kitten was found, it was fed and never stopped eating. Psychologically, the cat lived in constant fear of being hungry and would literally eat herself to death if given the opportunity. That is ultimately what happened. She could never escape the trauma of almost dying from starvation.
The same can be the case with humans. There is a story of a group of orphans in WWII who were discovered after the United States and our ally forces began liberating Europe. They were skin and bones … had not eaten anything of substance for God only knows how long. The Americans fed the children, and they were put in an orphanage, but even though they were well fed and recovered from their lack of food, they never could get over being hungry. They could not sleep at night in fear of going hungry the next day. Finally, to get these kids to sleep, they were given a piece of bread and were allowed to take it bed with them but told not to eat it. The mere presence of the next day’s bread in their hands allowed them to sleep in peace.
So, the question we must answer is this. Can we live a normal life, one free of the fear of starvation of all the aspects of life if we live it without the Living Bread of Life? Can we live in spiritual fullness, without the presence of Jesus in our lives? Is our faith strong enough to believe that Christ’s body and blood are the foundation of His spiritual presence in our lives when we come to the communion table?
In the reality of the fire disasters of the past few years, we must address both the physical and spiritual meaning of the Bread of Life. Physical food for the hungry and the spiritual food in Holy Communion. Both are offered every Sunday as we celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion in our worship service and then a time of fellowship with food for all.
Please join us every Sunday at New Hope Lutheran Church, 22200 Foresthill Rd., Foresthill, CA. 95632, phone 530-367-3650, to hear more about the Bread of Life. Worship begins at 9:30am. All are welcome, so come as you are. It is Hawaiian shirt summer, so if you have one, be sure to wear it!