Be careful when you touch bread,… Christ often blessed it.

I love to cook and am fascinated by the life of bread. The same simple ingredients – water, yeast, flour, a little sugar, a little salt – can make so many different kinds of bread. E.g. French Bread, Whole Wheat, Cinnamon-Raisin bread, Focaccia, Pizza crust, Pita bread and more. Bread can be formed into many different shapes and sizes, colors and flavors. It likes to be kneaded, allowed to rest and then rise slowly. It is best when served immediately. Can you see where I am going with this? St. Paul was brilliant when he gave the first Christians the analogy of a Christian community as the Body of Christ, a loaf of bread. “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.” (1 Cor. 10:16-17) Each Sunday, when we pray for the Eucharistic Visitor who receives a small kit with some of the consecrated bread and wine from our Communion service, we include St. Paul’s message in the prayer, “We who are many are one body because we all share one bread, one cup.” This is one reason why it makes more sense to serve bread, rather than wafers at Holy Communion. The individual wafers are easier to store and distribute, but it does not allow us to experience the unity of sharing the same loaf of bread.It removes one step in the four-fold action of Jesus, “When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.” (Luke 24:30)

As a child, I was struck by the mystery of the disappearance of the unleavened loaf of bread at Communion and then learning that the congregation was now a loaf of bread, the Body of Christ; we had been united by bread. Christians are like a loaf of bread. We are made of simple ingredients found all over the world, and we come in many different sizes, shapes and colors. We also like to be needed, allowed to rest, and then rise to serve others. One day we will rise again to newness of life.

Remember this brief anonymous poem when you make or serve bread.

“Be careful when you touch bread.                                                                         Let it not lie uncared for, unwanted.
So often bread is taken for granted.
There is so much beauty in bread;
Beauty of sun and soil, beauty of patient toil.
Winds and rain have caressed it, Christ often blessed it.
Be gentle when you serve bread.”

Peace, Carol

This entry was posted in The Rev. Dr. Carol M. Flett and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Be careful when you touch bread,… Christ often blessed it.

  1. Susan says:

    What a splendid analogy!!! I had never thought of bread this way!
    Thank you!!

  2. Hi, thanks for sharing! i’m just starting to get back into bread making. i saw the anonymous poem years ago in Holman’s Bakery in Cambridge, Nova Scotia, and remembered enough of it so i could find it again on the internet! i’m a believer in Jesus too, and really enjoy making bread! you should smell my kitchen! this pom will soon be hanging on my kitchen wall, as it was so many years ago in John Holman’s bakery!

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