Bread of Life

You might be a “breadie” if…while texting a friend, you type in a few letters and your iPhone autocorrects to a German bread called Weltmeisterbrot. Yes, I have been immersed in making bread for World Communion on October 7, but doing this brings me life. Everything about it is life-giving, from the excitement of deciding which bread to make, to researching its history and importance to the region, to preparation of ingredients, mixing and kneading the dough, baking, smelling the transformed goodness, and then sharing this goodness with others. Over the years, I have made some loaves which I’m not as fond of, mostly because I haven’t acquired a taste for this unfamiliar bread that isn’t part of my history. Tasting different grains and flours like Teff and Kamut, acorn and chestnut, experiencing textures from airy to dense, my world opens up and is not as distant, and I feel more understanding toward people living in these regions. For many, bread is necessary to life; not only for food and nutrition, but for its tradition and symbolism. The Ethiopian Teff bread I have yet to retry (my first attempt failed miserably), is a lesson in conservation. This flatbread is used as a “plate” for stews and salads placed right on top, pieces of it are torn off to use as utensils, then when the stew is gone the rest of the bread is consumed. Bread is life.

The history of the natural world is contained in a slice of bread, but, more importantly, the supernatural principal of grace is abundantly evident.  How bread works is how life works.  Life works like bread; life is reflected in bread and life is resurrected in bread. This is not only a Christian principle; it is a universal principle reflected in every culture, tradition, and major religion.  When the individual ingredients die to the whole something new emerges. ~Peter Reinhart

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever eats of this bread will never be hungry.” -John 6:35

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