come and see

John 1:46 “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Nathanael asked.“Come and see,” answered Philip.


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“I am the ice-cream of life”

I love the reading from John 6:35 when Jesus said “I am the ice cream of life”ice-cream

Did he not say that? What he did say was “I am the bread of life”. Why wouldn’t he say ice cream?

I love ice cream – I love vanilla ice cream, chocolate ice cream, boysenberry ice cream, and once I even had macadamia nut brittle ice cream, and that was really, really good. But ice  cream is a special treat – it’s a special occasion food; we don’t have ice cream every day, do we?

Jesus said I am the bread of life and bread is eaten in lots of countries and lots of cultures. The French have croissants and baguettes; the Italians have pannini, focaccia, and ciabatta; the Middle East have pita bread. There is an amazing wealth and colour of breads, and bread is something we eat pretty much every day. Whether it’s toast at breakfast time, or sandwiches at lunchtime, or boiled egg for tea, with bread cut up really thin for soldiers to dip, we have bread every day – but not ice cream. And when there was a snow storm recently I went to go and get my groceries and do you know what there was nothing left of in the grocery store?  Everyone had come and got ice cream! No – everyone had come and got bread. There was no bread on the shelves, and there was no flour on the shelves to make bread – there was still milk, but no bread. That’s what everybody wanted and everybody needed, because bread is a staple, and it feeds our physical hunger. God said that he would be the bread that would feed our spiritual hunger.

Sometimes I’m hungry for God in a “I’m famished – just feed me now!” kind of way. And sometimes I’m hungry for God in a “just a slice of cake with a cup of tea” kind of way – you know, just a bit peckish.  And how I get fed is by reading the bible, praying, reading Christian books, coming to church – these are all God’s ways of feeding us. All of you have made the decision this morning to come and be fed by God, and I want Jesus to be your bread of life, your every day bread – not the ice cream of life, saved just for special occasions.

Vanessa

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IMG_0344We wanted to also get everyone thinking about how food engages all the senses – especially the sense of smell. And so we set up a “smell test” with various foods in covered cups, the idea being that everyone got to have a sniff, and they then had to guess what was in there (we used orange, onion, banana, coffee, vanilla, and ginger). They didn’t do too badly, on the whole, but none of the smells were as strong or compelling as that of freshly baked bread.

The smell of bread cooking wafts throughout the entire house and always gets our mouths watering, and us longing for a thick slice, covered with butter – just the thing to ease our hunger and cravings.  And, in the same way, following the teachings and example of Jesus eases our hunger and craving for God.

Gail

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Game/Puzzle for The Bread of Life

We searched and searched for a game/puzzle/object lesson for the bread of life, but could not find anything that we liked that was suitable for our particular group and meeting place, so we made one up. It’s fairly basic, but maybe of use or inspiration to someone else.

We took a picture which had on it the quote from John 6 – Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall never hunger and he who believes in me shall never thirst.” This was cut into six pieces, each of which was placed inside a toilet roll tube. We then wrapped the tubes with illustrations of the various ingredients needed to make bread – using, where possible, actual packaging from the ingredients. The packages were hidden around our worship space.

We started by talking through what was needed to make bread, and then got the children to search for the hidden “ingredients” and, once found, to make up the picture hidden inside.