Bread has been a symbol of sustenance as well as boredom for many thousands of years.
When the tribes of Israel, fleeing from captivity in Egypt, were nearly dying of hunger in the desert, God rained down manna upon them — the bread of heaven. But soon, miraculous as this food was, people got bored with it and longed for variety.
This is one of the themes I touch on in the Photo Prayer that I sent out to my subscribers today. (They are such brave souls!)
My prayer ends with a reference to the Lord’s Prayer, a prayer central to Christian spiritual practice. Significantly, the Lord’s Prayer asks only for bread, not for variety. If we are honest — a tall order! — we want bread and variety, just like those in the desert who were living on manna. We crave diversity.
Does the Lord’s Prayer teach us to be satisfied with bread and survival, to ask for nothing more, not to be tempted? Jesus was tempted in the desert. Hungry, he was tempted to turn the stones around him into bread. Instead, he replied to his tormentor that we do not live by bread alone, but by every word proceeding from the mouth of God. If the Bible is any indication, that word encompasses a lot of variety and goes well with bread.
God, give us all Word sandwiches!