Just as it is the nature of bread to feed the belly, it is God’s nature to seek us out time and time again to feed and nurture all of our hungry places. God reached out to the prophet Elijah, fresh off the success of casting aside false prophets, yet finding himself so unhappy as to wish for God to take away his life. God fed Elijah’s body and spirit, finding him in his wilderness and renewing him.

We hear, “I am the bread of life,” and we know that Jesus, God-made-flesh, has offered himself as a blessing to feed us, and the world, in all our wilderness places. (John 6:35)

What do recipes for Spritz cookies, Mexican Pozole, Thai Som-Tam, A Green Smoothie, and Widow’s Loaves have in common? Well, all of these hese recipes are used by Lutheran Christians around the United States as they live out the faith and beliefs that have been given and entrusted to them by God.

A guilty conscience imagines all kinds of things, so it is no wonder that Herod, in our gospel text today, wonders if this Jesus is actually John the Baptist come back from the dead. If Herod only knew just how back from the dead this man called Jesus would eventually come!

Back from the dead: not to haunt the consciences of Herod and all of us who have ever lived only for ourselves – and who among us has not made decisions only for our own benefit? Back from the dead: not to take the reigns of worldly power and install himself as the new super power at the head of a super nuclear arsenal, toppling all who stand in his way.

As we hear this week’s gospel lesson, we might be reminded of the phrase, “no rest for the weary.”

The disciples are back with Jesus after being sent out to teach and heal, and after hearing about their adventures, Jesus tries to lead them aside for some rest – you know, a little R&R by the beach, a little time in the hot tub, name your favorite way to relax, the disciples were getting to it!

Seems like everywhere we turn these days, someone is stirring up trouble. There’s trouble from the right and there’s trouble from the right. There’s trouble in the Middle East and there’s trouble in Washington. Yet while stirring up trouble just for the sake of making trouble can be seriously damaging, and so much of human trouble making is negative and hurtful, trouble making in and of itself isn’t always a bad thing.