Unexpectedly Finding the Bread of Life

A Sunday afternoon full of good art, good food and revelations of Jesus.

Posted in , Nov 27, 2018

The bread of life

I don’t know about you but as much as I enjoy looking at art in a museum, I get tired sooner than I expect and need to sit for a few minutes to clear my head. Otherwise I get too groggy to look at anything.

This happened the other day when I was at the Metropolitan Museum. It’s a fabulous place and living in New York, I appreciate the luxury of being able to dart in and dart out. This was a Sunday, and I was killing time before meeting someone.

I was in the middle of Renaissance Italy, taking in some exquisite scenes, beautiful paintings in rich colors, most of them Biblical. Sensory overload finally hit, and I sat down on a bench. (Thanks for those benches, Met Museum!)

I took out my Kindle and turned to the Gospel of John. Just so you don’t think I’m too holy I should confess that this was part of an assignment for a class I’m taking. I ended up poring over that wonderful passage where Jesus compares himself to bread.

“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty,” Jesus said.

I was thinking about how tangible that must have seemed to the disciples, especially after seeing Jesus turn a few loaves and fishes into a feast for thousands.

Rested, I got up from the bench and looked again at pictures. The first one I saw was a Nativity scene, Joseph and Mary hovering over Jesus in the manger.

And there, right beneath him was a sheaf of grain. The bread of life at the feet of THE BREAD OF LIFE. “That’s it!” I wanted to say.

Too bad I didn’t have one of my old art history professors nearby because I would have asked for extra credit, remembering how Renaissance and Medieval art could be rich in symbolism.

Restored, I walked out of the museum and because I’d been thinking of food I bought a knish from one of the sidewalk vendors.

I said a prayer of thanks for good art, good food and the bread of life.

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