Friday, March 23, 2007

Something I found interesting...

What questions come into your head when you see this picture dear reader?
“Why would anyone take a picture of a sign advertising the thing we eagerly avoid?”
“What sort of establishment would use pain as a feature that should attract customers?”
A few of you might be thinking…
“Do they have anything on special this week?”
Well, good questions all but not necessarily well informed ones. You see, I am quite certain that this establishment even though it clearly uses the word pain to describe the nature of its commerce DOES Not in fact have much at all to do with that concept. I have some inside information about this photo that reveals that it was taken in France. Most of you will remember that the French word, “pain” actually means bread.
Phew! That’s right this is a bakery we are looking at here folks.
But that made me think of something interesting. Jesus said. “I am the bread (le pain) of life. He who eats of this bread will never go hungry.” There is a peculiar connection in my mind between the two understandings of the word in each language. Well, I think of the broken body of Christ represented by bread in our communion ritual. In some ways you could call it the pain(ful) bread.
But I also think of something else Jesus said, “Take up your (own) cross and follow me.” I think what is marvellous about Jesus is that he shows us how to BEAR the weight of pain that we all drag around. In fact Jesus says at one point, “If you are tired of dragging your burden around – I’ll help you bear it – if you’ll let me.” For me what is remarkable is that Jesus does not suggest that he remove our pain. It seems to me like what Jesus is suggesting is that we should actually enter into his sort of pain (taking up our cross) and in that experience life in its most fulfilling (Jn 10:10) aspects. Almost like consuming and entering into his pain brings us life. And that’s a little different way of thinking about the BREAD of LIFE.
If you’re interested in more on the issues of evil and suffering and all that check out Ryan’s recent post.


Ryan said...

Very interesting Dale (not to mention linguistically clever!). Definitely a necessary corrective for speculative types like me. Thanks for this.

jc said...

What do you think of the significance of Jesus saying "take up your cross" when he had not yet been crucified? This verse appears in the eight chapter of Mark long in advance of Jesus death. Sorry not to change topic. I just thought it was an odd thing.