Wednesday of Higher Things, (July 27, 2016)
1 Kings 17:8-16
TITLE: “The Bread That Does Not Run Out”
In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Do you know what it is to be hungry? I don’t mean I’m so hungry I could eat a fourth donut. Have you lived at a time when you did not know where your next meal comes from, or even if there will be one? Many in our world know the life of this widow from Zarephath. Many know what it means to tighten the belt one more notch, to give food to their children but not to themselves. For us Americans, It is far more likely that we will die from overeating than it is from starvation.
But here she is before you. This woman, this widow and her son. Her husband is dead. She is preparing her last meal for her and her son. She might as well be condemned. Can you feel her sadness and despair? Two sticks. That’s what she’s missing. Just two sticks. Put them together, start the fire and her life will burn out with her son and with the bread.
This is your life, if your life is only made up of what you can cobble together for yourself. You may not be starving, but you do long for a life that is full and abundant. You long for the daily bread that you need to live, but know that even with all you have, it will never be enough. No matter how much you consume, someday the apple will be like ash in your mouth. Some day, you will die, for that is the way of life under the curse of sin.
But for the widow, Elijah gives hope. “Do not fear,” he says in the words of the angels. The bread that the Lord makes for Elijah and the widow and her son will not run out. It is as if he prays the Psalm for her, “You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing.” (Ps. 145:16) The widow and her son live. God gives hope to the hopeless. This bread that will not run out is life for them, real life.
Do you see yourself in this widow and her son? You are not here, in God’s house, because you look great, feel great, or have your life all perfect and tidy., You are not here because you were born into the right family or have the appropriate color of skin, whatever that may be. You are not here because you live in the right town, or the right part of the country, or the right country at all. There is nothing in you that makers you worthy to receive the mercies of God from His hand.
No, you are here because God feeds you with the bread of life, the bread that lasts for all the ages to come. You are here because Jesus Christ opens His hands to you and shows you the wounds, indeed bears the wounds of the cross for you for all time. You are here because Jesus Christ hungers and thirsts for you, that you would receive His righteousness as only He can give.
And according to the Word of the Lord, it is His own body that you eat and His own blood that you drink. And because of that, it is not just that you receive life. A life apart from God is no life at all. No, in receiving His own flesh and blood, the bread of life, you receive the life of God Himself. The hymn says “Thou hast desired Thy life for man” (LSB 834:1), and it is true. God put two sticks together on the cross so that you would live from that bread which never runs out.
God desires that you would live in Him and He in you. That is your hope, that is your future, that is the very bread you eat.
In the name of Jesus. Amen.