Monday, 27 April 2009

Bread and Wine

It’s been a while. It took a line from a song. The song in question was Melody Gardot’s* Some Lessons.

Well I’m buckled up inside
Miracle that I’m alive
Do not think that I can survive
On bread and wine alone.

It’s not entirely clear what the song is about other than learning difficult lessons from a painful life experience that came close to being the singer’s undoing. However, it did spark off a thought in my head and this is the place for capturing and airing such thoughts.

Do not think I can survive
On bread and wine alone.

I suspect that Gardot is alluding to that line of Jesus and Moses, “… one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD”. Hope so.

What occurred to me was that if we tinker with Gardot’s words just a little we get a rather neat way of expressing something that I reckon both Moses and Jesus would want to say to some of us today.

Some would do well to attend to the two Hebrew prophets, those, that is, who make the mistake of living as if the good stuff of the world - stuff like beer and sandwiches, sex, football and John Coltrane - is the sum of life, plunging with such relish into created goods that they forget the good creator. Others though ought to cock an ear in Gardot’s direction, those who live such religious lives that they end up leaving all sorts of Father-given, life-nourishing gifts on the shelf unopened. God-neglect is folly, world-neglect is such a shame.

"One does not live by bread alone."
"One does not live by bread and wine alone."

* Melody Gardot is one of a recent spate of jazz inflected female balladeers such as Madeline Peyroux, Duffy and especially, in Gardot’s case, Nora Jones.

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