In those days, Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine, and being a priest of God Most High, he blessed Abram with these words… Genesis 14:18
He brings the bread.
In the old and local Philippines, this boy wakes up early. He fetches his goods at the nearest street corner bakery. As he rides his bicycle, the bread within the front basket scatters the smell of fresh baked flour into the morning air. He settles at one home and another and another. At the doorsteps, he puts that sturdy brown bag which is ready to fill the stomachs of families after resting for the night. His work is personal. His work satisfies the hunger. His travel has a purpose. To bring the bread to the households. To fill the hungry with this bread.
Melchizedek did just that. The boy with five loaves did that. You can do it, too.
You don’t need to be a priest, mind you. This call for all of us is personal. As long as you want to satisfy the hunger of this world. Make it your life’s purpose. To bring life to others as you share the bread of life. To fill the gaps in multiple hearts which can’t be filled by any ideology but by God alone.
May I bring some ways to bring the bread?
- Be an encouragement in your homes.
- Always speak God’s word may be in terms of positive outlook.
- Follow God’s laws and the laws of the land.
- Do your work well and pay your bills.
- Be responsible to your promises.
- Use Facebook or Twitter to spread his love and his words.
- Show empathy and charity to the needy whose needs may be material or emotional tangibles.
You may be a priest. You may be a small boy with a packed lunch. You may be the clerk at the busiest table or a hotel receptionist. An accountant or an office messenger. A teacher or a student. All of us are called. All of us have the grace. All of us are capable.
Bring the bread.
The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them. Luke 2:9, 20
They were with great fear. Not just an ordinary fear. Not some normal fear. Not a fear you usually have daily. It was a feeling of great fear.
Eleven verses after, the great fear turns into a great joy. You have to have great joy when you glorify and praise God after what you’ve been told is all true!
What happened in the middle of verses 9 and 20? The shepherds met their Shepherd. They met their Savior and Lord. They may have had great fear for they thought they will die in facing God’s angels, but meeting the Messiah gave them life. From having great fear to having great joy.
For us who have been living in fear before we have crossed paths with our Lord and Savior. For us who have woke up each morning and retired each night with inner gladness since meeting the Messiah in one way or another.
Scan into your fears. Carefully run into your worries. Afraid of your hunting past? Panic about the present? Frightened of the future? Run to Bethlehem. Return to that manger. Meet the Messiah. Again.
You can go back to your field a changed person knowing you have a Messiah who does not change. A King Shepherd who allowed himself to be born in a stable for you to know everything you’ve been told about him is true. It still rings true today. His presence, love and promises are real as what you have been told.
Who alone can turn great fear to great joy? Jesus. No one else.
When John heard in prison of the works of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to him with this question, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” Matthew 11:2-3
He jumped twice.
First, he was imprisoned in a woman’s womb. He recognized Jesus that he jumped for joy as soon as the sound of greetings was heard in his mother’s ears.
Second, he was imprisoned in a cell. He recognized Jesus that he jumped for a question as soon as his ears heard about the miraculous exploits of the Messiah.
The first prison gives life. The second was near to his death.
The first prison was a start. The second was a mile away from the finish line.
The first prison gave him warmth. The second gave him the cold bars.
The first prison was secure. The second was insecure.
The first prison gave him assurance. The second included the word “or”.
Understand John, understand yourself.
You jump for joy when the weather in your family is warm. You leap with gladness when the job is secure. You tip top when your health and finances are assured. You hurdle when your church of community gives you an encouraging life.
And yet, question marks fill your life and you bound in inquiry when family relationships are cold. You soar with your “or” when your job is standing on quick sand. You jump in doubt when there is sickness and poverty. You hop and skip to absence when church or community is not life giving.
In both prisons, recognize Jesus as Messiah. This would be enough to jump. For Jesus and for joy.
When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Matthew 19:22
He was following the rules. He was fulfilling the obligations. But he was not following Jesus. He did not respond to Jesus’ call to sell all and follow Him. Upon hearing Jesus’ call for him and knowing he can’t leave his possessions for a lifelong devotion, he went away sad.
Scan your life today. Do you have joy or sadness? Are you following rules or are you following Christ? Are you fulfilling obligations or are you fulfilling a heavenly call?
The passage above gives us a good test. There is no joy in following rules if you don’t follow Christ. There is no gladness in fulfilling obligations if you don’t fulfill Jesus’ call for you.
But you have given my heart more joy than they have when grain and wine abound. Psalm 4:7
What gives more joy to your heart?
More than having a good and well-rounded family. More than having a faithful and loving spouse. More than having a secured promising job. More than having a tremendous healthy body. More than having a bright future. More than having a circle of loving and supporting friends. More than having our pockets full. More than having life at peace. More than having to achieve. More than having the approval of your managers. More than having a community of brothers and sisters who are around when needed. More than having honor at your name. More than being read and being praised. More than having abundance in life.
These things are to be desired. These things are noble. These things give joy to the heart.
David sung God gives joy to the heart more than having grain and wine. More than.
May our lives sing with David.
May our hearts find joy in God more than anything else.