I am currently working as a baker. Muffins. Scones. Pastries. But more exciting than anything else, Bread. There are only three kinds people in this world who do not love bread; those on diets, those pretending to be our paleolithic precursors and finally the third group, whom I do not hold in contempt, those with Celiacs or gluten intolerance’s.  

Bread is this beautiful thing that begins with death.  A plant dies in order that new life can be brought forward by scattering its seeds. That seed while on the ground begins to die but will sometimes germinate and begin to grow a new stalk of what amounts to grass. That grass grows and grows until it produces more seeds. When that stalk dies it will give up its fruit and this is where we come in.  Some seeds will go back to the ground and others we will collect and let die and dry. A final death. Useless right?

But when we grind up those seeds, those wheat berries, we create a flour.  With the addition of water and time something strange and amazing begins to happen. Days. Maybe a week. Bubbles, new life. Yeast grows we add some salt for flavor and more flour for a bake-able consistency and boom…Bread. In the oven that yeast that has travelled so far and done all of the work for us, dies. The bread is dead but life-giving.

Gluten is not good for everyone.  Carbohydrates, sure we should cut back. But bread globally is one of the most basic forms of food because it fill stomachs and gives life.

Jesus is the bread of life (John 6.35). That would be an obvious scripture to use when talking about this process. And I would love to look at that passage and stretch that metaphor. Stretch it so thin I could give it the windowpane test (baker’s talk).  But I will leave that for some other preacher on some other pulpit and instead quote Paul,

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  (Galatians 2.20)

Christ died and brought life. We were dead but are now alive because of Christ living in us.  The bread is not necessarily the focus here, it just so happens that I think about bread literally all day long. The process is the focus.  Death giving life is the focus.  Sure this can be applied to food in general.  Maybe even another religion could claim a cycle of death and rebirth.  But ultimately, the very backward and intrinsically Christian concept here is the necessity of death for life.  Jesus died so we would not have to and the father brought him back from death so that we can live. (Romans 5 {Too Good to Cut Any Out})

This is what happens when I am up far too early in the morning to begin making and baking bread. Hopefully this is something good to chew on while eating your next sandwich, which for your sake I hope is very soon.

One thought on “Bread

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