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Bread Alone?

My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. John 4. 27 - 42

In this passage from the gospel of John, the disciples are concerned about Jesus because he has not eaten for such a long time. And his response is the line above. In other words, he might be saying I am fed by doing the work God has given me to do.

In Christopher Martin's book With Gladness: Answering God's Call in Our Everyday Lives, Christopher reminds us that the work God gives us to do is close at hand, "very near you" as he says. Thus it is necessary to focus on each task we take on with "gladness and singleness of heart." If we are walking, we must be attentive to our steps, driving the same...washing dishes and other mundane tasks can be done for the glory of God with prayer and gladness and singleness of heart. I would suggest that with such intentionality our daily work becomes the food that will fill our souls because it is done prayerfully and hand in hand with God.

I have recently been rather obsessed with making my own sourdough starter and ultimately sourdough bread. My family will tell you that it has not always been successful. I have commandeered a corner of the kitchen with my recipe, a kitchen scale, two sometimes three jars of starter and lots of flour dusting up the counter. I have come into the kitchen morning after morning in hopes that the starter has risen, only to be disappointed that it was just as flat as it had been the night before. But yesterday we turned the corner..."Serena" as I call my starter (that's a whole other story) had doubled even tripled in volume. And so I was able to make a real loaf of bread that rose and was not as hard as a rock! And now this morning, VOILA she has risen again.

As I read the lessons appointed for today, it occurred to me that this mundane project is feeding my soul, and I must start doing it with more intentionality, as Christopher suggests...repeating "I am making bread" and praising God as I do for the ability to do so and the opportunity to work with my hands and ultimately share some of my handiwork with those I love. No, I cannot live on bread alone, but I can live on "doing the work God has given me to do!"

What mundane task , what "work is very near you" today, work you could do with more intentionality and prayer and gladness and singleness of heart? Please share your thoughts with all of us in the Comment box...This blog is called Pilgrims' Journeys (plural pilgrim!) for a reason. It won't be complete without your thoughts.

Prayers for peace and gladness and singleness of heart this day and always.

Click here for today's daily readings.


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