Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Bread of Life

I love bread. I come by it naturally. My Mom could eat a bread sandwich. I’ve seen her. Each evening in the hospital they would bring her a snack. One half of a turkey sandwich. I saw her take off all the turkey and eat the bread. She still won’t sit down to a kitchen table without some sort of bread being there for her enjoyment. You see, it comes quite natural to me.

Several years ago I was employed as the Hospitality and Special Events Director at my local church. There were parts of this position that I really didn’t care for, but others made this position so enjoyable. One of which was being able to lead a group of volunteers in this special ministry of hospitality.

In this role, I was to lead. To share knowledge. To engage in others’ lives. To encourage. And I did so by writing a quarterly newsletter and leading monthly meetings. These two elements were the most exciting to me.

Each monthly meeting was designed around a theme. National Gumdrop Day, Spice It Up, National “I want you to be happy” Day, National Cookie Cutter Day, and many more.

But the one I want to talk about today is National Homemade Bread Day. I’m either a little early or a little late for this one, because this day is celebrated on November 17 each year.

We talked about the importance of bread through the centuries and how it has evolved. We discussed the versatility of bread dough and how it can be used for so many purposes. And of course we chatted about Jesus calling Himself the Bread of Life in John 6:35-51.

In the church service I attended this past weekend, we sang the old hymn, Break Thou the Bread of Life. To be honest, I hadn’t heard it in years and don’t know that I ever truly read the words to this song. But what a message!

It’s not about The Lord’s Supper. It’s not just about Jesus being the Bread of Life. It’s more about allowing The Bread (Jesus) and His Word to come into our lives, make a difference, and change us. And then, we are to be “bread” to this world.

Break Thou the Bread of Life

Break Thou the bread of life, dear Lord, to me,
As Thou didst break the loaves beside the sea;
Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord;
My spirit pants for Thee, O living Word!

Bless Thou the truth, dear Lord, to me, to me,
As Thou didst bless the bread by Galilee;
Then shall all bondage cease, all fetters fall;
And I shall find my peace, my all in all.

Thou art the bread of life, O Lord, to me,
Thy holy Word the truth that saveth me;
Give me to eat and live with Thee above;
Teach me to love Thy truth, for Thou art love.

Oh, send Thy Spirit, Lord, now unto me,
That He may touch my eyes, and make me see:
Show me the truth concealed within Thy Word,
And in Thy Book revealed I see the Lord.[i]

This hymn now has new meaning for me. I do want these very changes in my life. And I want others to see those changes. I pray that you might accept the Bread of Life and allow Him to make those same changes within you.

As November 17th comes around in 2012, we can remember not only National Homemade Bread Day, but also the changes that have come to our lives because of The Bread of Life.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,


[i] Break Thou the Bread of Life, Author: Mary A. Lathbury (1877) Author (st. 3-4): Alexander Groves (1913)

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