David tore his clothes and cried
to God for mercy, though his sin
had dwelt within the heart of him
for many days and years.
For God had said through Nathan that
the sins that he had kept in private
would be shown throughout the lands
when his enemy would take
King David’s wives and take his bed,
and in the King’s now broken mind
a silent cry to future days:
Oh Absalom, my son…
The people cried:
We have no food;
why did we leave
fair Egypt to
starve within this
But God said, Look
to heaven; see
the bread I will
rain down for you.
And from the sky
fell bread and quail,
bread like frost and
quail like rain.
The people ate
and had their fill,
yet in their hearts
they did not long
to eat the bread
Have mercy on me, God, he cried.
Against You only have I sinned.
He had no sacrifice to give
save his broken, contrite heart.
A broken, beaten spirit You
my God will not despise, he said,
and God who broke the bread of life
and saw in every battered heart
lifted up the one bowed low,
did not despise his sacrifice.
The people followed him around
eagerly in hope for more
bread like he had showered down
on them as they had gathered round,
the pushing, shoving, crowd of thousands
hanging on his words and yet
far keener just to eat his bread.
You come to me for food, he said.
You ate my bread and want some more.
Don’t you know? You think Moses
gave your fathers bread to eat.
Truly, I say unto you:
my Father is the one who gives
the one true bread of heaven.
They did not know of what he spoke,
did not yet see his eyes uplifted
as he broke the bread and gave
thanks for it and passed it round
the crowd of sinners who sat there
at the table of his grace.