One of the most popular cable stations watched is the Food Channel. I, too, watch Bobby Flay and his "throwdown" challenge of chefs around the country, and I really like "Chopped," a wonderful show that features chefs competing for "Top Chef" by transforming a weird basket of food items into delectible cuisine in a limited amount of time, and I have occasionally tuned into "Iron Chef," another show of competition. It is funny but not surprising that the chefs on Food Channel are now as popular as any other celebrity. It doesn't surprise me that we like the Food Channel.
To be human is to eat; hunger is even more basic than the human drive for sex. It is not suprising, therefore, that Jesus would use an eating metaphor to describe his impact on human life. Jesus wants to be the everyday, basic nourishment of one's life. He wants you to gnaw on him and what he says every day of life; he wants us to take him in like a good loaf of bread right out of the oven, and find yourself being transformed into his image of human wholeness by his wonder bread.
It is interesting that Jesus uses such an ordinary image for himself - bread. Why didn't he say "I am the filet mignon of life?" or "I am the chocolate mousse of life?" I think he wants to be something that we take in everyday, and find him nourishing our lives not at special moments only, but on the everyday journey of life.
That is why I think it is so important to be in church in summer time, during the season of "ordinary time." It is sad but I don't see some folks till fall, and some not till Advent and Christmas. We need the everyday, habitual, ordinary strengthening of Christ; it is this nourishment that gets us through tough times; it is this ordinary sustenance that makes possible to receive the joy of the "filet mignon" moments of Church life.
The Rev. Dr. David E. Thayer