Sunday, March 27, 2011

Gay Gospel Doctrine Class - The Bread of Life

Today as I* write this entry, I have this overwhelming feeling of irritability, frustration and lack of patience.  I’m really not sure why I’ve felt like this all day, but it started long before I decided to re-grout my bathtub/shower and even before I started helping my sons make pinewood derby cars.  This morning at the gym, I saw a guy who was on the High Council during my church court hearing when I was disfellowshipped over eight years ago (I won’t go through that one again).  What’s weird is that I see him there all the time, and although I never talk to him, today I wanted to rip him a new one and call him an arrogant, self-righteous… well, you get the idea.

These emotions are unsettling to me because I’m generally a kind person with at least average patience.  So as the day has gone by, I’ve been thinking about how to approach this lesson and get past my mental state.

John 6:1-14

Jesus went up into a mountain and was teaching a group of more than 5000 disciples. It would seem that time went by when they realized it was time to eat and everyone was hungry.  No one in the group had really planned for this event; no one had enough money to go out and buy food for a group that size, and they were probably quite a ways from town.

Andrew pointed out that there was a boy with five barley loaves and two small fishes.  Although obviously inadequate for the need, this boy gave them to Jesus who gave thanks for them and distributed them to the disciples.  When all had eaten and were filled, the remaining fragments were gathered up so nothing would be wasted and they filled twelve basked with the fragments of the five barley loaves (they must have eaten all the fish – hey, that’s good protein there).

When I think of this passage, I think of the boy who had little to give but gave anyway.  And because of his generosity, at least 5000 other people were blessed. 

There are those who came before us who made the difficult journey that is coming to an understanding of what it means for them to be gay.

In those times when I feel completely frustrated and depressed with my situation of being married and the inner conflict of wanting to be there for my wife while also wanting to be with a man, I have had friends who offer encouragement and a non-judgmental listening ear.  The emotional toll is challenging.

Those who contribute to this blog and discussion are similar to the boy with the five loaves and two fishes.  Individually, it may not be a great amount, but as people read of your experiences and listen to your words of encouragement, it is not unreasonable to think that more than 5000 lives will be blessed.  What we say and do matters.

The music link I’ve chosen is the song, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.  This arrangement was performed at BYU and recorded back in the 90s (a girl I went to college with is in the video; small world shout-out!).  This is one of the most beautiful arrangements of this song.  I sometimes sing this song to my children as they’re lying in bed before they go to sleep.  It is a song that offers me encouragement, and the sheer beauty of it elevates my mind and brings tears to my eyes.

PS. The bread photo was one I took myself :) .  I only wish I could say that about the guy photos…

* Today's lesson was prepared by UtahHiker801.


  1. Dear UtahHiker 801

    As I read your comment, I thought that it was a normal feeling of frustration that you are feeling. Frustration seems to emerge when we are attending to everyone's needs but our own. I think that this is where Jesus' teaching that one must first love one's self before loving others.

    For me, I have found, that loving myself means establishing boundaries. I don't mean barriers, but little markers of
    - how far I will go to help others (normally beyond where it is "safe")
    - knowing what is safe for me to give depends on my feeling of being full-nourished (thus your quote about the bread of life). How we get nourished is up to each one of us to do.
    When I am hungry or thirsty, I can become very irritable!

    This and other blogs are giving you nourishment and helping you to establish boundaries, redefine your identities... and this is a gift.

    - how far I will let a person require something from me, or go beyond what I esteem to be healthy.

    Boundaries are important in order to keep your identity in tact and solid.

  2. Libellule, I appreciate your words of advice. Thank you for caring enough to share your insight with me and others.

  3. This is my favorite song of all time. I also appreciate the application of the bread parable to blogging and online pieces which sometimes feed far more than 5,000. Thank you.

  4. 53 " Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you (the taken away branch);

    54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

    55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.


    57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me."

    What does "Truly, truly" mean to you in verse 53? What does "unless" mean?

    The body lives because it receives real food sustenance. Starve the body and it will die.

    Just as the body needs real sustenance, so does the soul, else it will not bear fruit.

    The soul lives by real Divine sustenance, the true presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. (John 6:53-57)

  5. @Michael - Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving your comment. I have gone to your blog and appreciate the information that is there. If any Mormon readers care to go there, they will receive an education on the Catholic view of the Eucharist. Michael, as you may or may not know, Mormons practice a form of communion (referred to as the "Sacrament"), but with a different theological foundation and an approach that is really different from both Catholic and many Protestant approaches.

    Again, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.