“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.’” John 6:35 NASB
Mary Lathbury was a successful artist, writer, and teacher. And a lifelong Christian. Born on this day in 1841 in Manchester, New York, her father and two brothers all were ministers.
Her passion for education and her faith helped inspire her interest in the camp that was founded near Lake Chautauqua, in upstate New York. This became a center for Bible study and Sunday School training. There, Mary served as an assistant to John Vincent, who began the camp.
In 1877, Vincent asked her to write a hymn to aid in their correspondence courses. She called the hymn, “Break Thou the Bread of Life.” It was inspired by the example of Jesus feeding the multitudes (Matthew 14:13-21).
Yes, Mary declared, Jesus was the bread of life. Through her hymn she prayed, “Break Thou the bread of life, dear Lord, to me, as Thou didst break the loaves beside the sea.” She sought Jesus, “beyond the sacred page,” crying “my spirit pants for Thee, O living Word!”
Perhaps thinking about Lake Chautauqua, she almost seemed to picture Jesus sitting by the sea, asking Him, “Bless Thou the truth…as Thou didst bless the bread by Galilee.” What freedom she would enjoy! “Then shall all bondage cease” and she would find peace.
She knew we need supernatural wisdom to grasp the truths in the Word, so she prayed, “O send Thy Spirit, Lord, now unto me, that He may touch my eyes, and make me see.” She knew there was more to learn, praying “Show me the truth concealed within Thy Word.”
Today, remember that Jesus is your bread of life. Hunger to know Him more. Ask Him to open up more of His Truth to you. And make His Word the foundation of your life.
PrayerLord Jesus, thank You that You are the bread of life. I hunger for more of You. Teach me. Reveal more of Your Truth to me. I need You! In Your name. Amen. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
Extended ReadingJohn 6