It is sometimes said that we have a God shaped hole in our life and that, until it is filled, we are forever restless. Or as Saint Augustine of Hippo puts it, ‘You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in you’.
Restlessness or dissatisfaction is a common human state of mind. The Rolling Stones may be speaking for all of us when they sing, ‘I can’t get no satisfaction’. Many feel, as in the song, that they are on a ‘losing streak’. Try and try as hard as they can, they cannot seem to fill the aching void in the human heart.
So, when Jesus says, as recorded in John chapter 6, ‘I am the bread of heaven that comes down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever’, then He is claiming a huge amount. He is claiming that the bread that He offers can be fully satisfying and will last for eternity. In the same way, when He offers living water to the Samaritan woman, who has come to draw water from the well, He says to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become to them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life’. (John Chapter 4)
So, what must we do to receive this bread that fully satisfies and this living water that will mean that we are never thirsty again?
I believe we make religion too complicated when, in essence, it is very simple. Jesus simply offers us something as ordinary as bread and water and all we have to do is open our hands and our mouths and accept it. It is pure giving on God’s part and a simple grateful receiving on our part. God is our Creator and our mother and father, so he wants to give to his children good things like fresh bread and water.
Jesus invites us to follow him and through him to come to know God. Jesus invites us to take up our cross and follow him. The mystery of the cross is about dying to all that is bad in us and raising up the good.
The Quakers give this advice in their Advices and Queries (No.10):-
‘In worship we enter with reverence into communion with God and respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Come along to meeting for worship with heart and mind prepared. Yield yourself and all your outward concerns to God’s guidance so that you may find the evil weakening in you and the good raised up.’
Why not go along to a church or a Quaker Meeting House and perhaps you will find the bread that fully satisfies and the living water that fully quenches your thirst?
The image above is courtesy of Olly Bennett on https://www.freeimages.com
Philip is an Anglican, Quaker, and a member of the Third Order of Franciscans, and now lives in Felixstowe. Until July 2014 he was the Diocesan Environmental Officer for the Norwich Diocese. In June 2017 he stood as an Independent Candidate for the General Election in the Suffolk Coastal Constituency. He is now a freelance writer on spiritual and political matters. He is available to run Quiet Days, give talks, presentations or to preach and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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