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Freshly Baked Bread: Food For The Soul
The Importance of Spiritual and Physical Nourishment
"Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty." (John 6:35)"
There is something heavenly about the smell of freshly baked bread. I should know because there is bread baking in my oven while I write this article. Tomorrow is World Communion Sunday. It is on this day that believers all over the world celebrate Holy Communion. Tomorrow we will sit at the table prepared for us by Christ. Tomorrow we will eat together as one family brought together by the cross.
I started baking the bread for World Communion Sunday two years ago. I chose to began this tradition as an act of love for my church family and for Christ. There is something deeply satisfying in the process of mixing the dough, kneading the dough, and waiting for the little ball to grow twice its original size.
Baking bread is a mindful process and almost an act of worship by and in itself. It is a time honored tradition that spans thousands of years. Bread is a common connection between many cultures. It is a household staple; and, without it, many would die of starvation. It is for this reason that we express gratitude to God for "our daily bread."
Physically speaking, bread sustains us and keeps us alive, but it is also a metaphor for the work God's kingdom. In Matthew 13:33, Jesus tells us "The kingdom of heaven is like a yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough."
If you have ever baked bread, you know that you can not see the yeast at work; but, as the dough begins to rise, you know the yeast is active and working. The Holy Spirit works in the same manner. He dwells in us; and, although we can not see Him, we know He is there. His presence encourages us to grow in our faith; and, through this encouragement, we become the hands and feet of Christ doing God's work on earth.
Finally, the act of baking bread connects us with those that will share the loaf. The loaf that is in my oven right now is not just any loaf of bread. It will be blessed and broken to remember a Savior that gave His life for the world. We break bread together to remember all that Christ did for us while He was on earth. This small loaf of bread that is baking to a rich, golden-brown color inside of my oven represents the peace that comes to us when we sit down at the table prepared for us by our Lord.
Tomorrow is World Communion Sunday. If your place of worship participates in the practice of observing Holy Communion on this day, remember that I, too, will be there sharing the meal with you.
May the peace of Christ be with you always.