What Should I Ask?


It wasn’t enough, you said,
to ask what you were doing here
(though that’s a loaded question,
to be sure).

“You didn’t come for me,” you said:
“You came for bread.”

But did you not direct us in
that famous prayer of yours to do
just that? “Give us this day
our daily bread.” Did not
your ancient people pray for bread,
emerging from their tents each morn
to gather manna from the ground?

It wasn’t enough, you said, to ask
what works we should be doing, lives
we should be working, bread
we should be gathering. “Seek for
the bread which comes from heaven!”

What can I do but join the crowd and say,
“Sir, give us this bread always”?

Is that enough? It’s not?

You are the bread of life. Well, then,
the only question I can ask is this:

“Oh, Jesus, would you, can you, won’t you
give me you, and you, and you
this day and always?” Yes:
and give us this bread always.

What other question could I ask?
What other gift would you present?

A poem/prayer based on John 6:24-35, the Revised Common Lectionary Gospel reading for Year B, Proper 13.

The photo is “Frühstückskorb mit Brötchen” by 3268zauber – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4298187

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