Oprah exclaims, “But I can have bread” when she talks about a popular diet, and I think about Eggsclusive Café’s sourdough loaf slathered with butter, and the yeast rolls Bruce bakes to a crispy crust and air pockets of floured goodness. The house smells sweet.
I think about how Jesus called himself the bread of life, how — even if you don’t believe in Jesus — there’s something to this bread image that is ancient and holy. It’s what holds our peanut butter and jelly together.
Then there’s the Jesus story where a few disciples walk along a road, desolate and befuddled about Jesus’ dying mixed in with the rumors he’d come back to life. They didn’t recognize Him when he did his rabbi thing by explaining the scriptures.
No, it’s when he broke the bread that they saw him. Then he was gone. I wonder if that’s when we see Jesus, or goodness, or that quick fellowship between people that whispers of the divine and also the ordinary.
I think about the dough, simply made — flour, yeast, milk, water, sugar — the dough rising and punched down again. Then rising again. And finally shaped into a fragrant loaf and baked.
Isn’t life like that? We rise and then the air is punched out of us, only to rise again, and then finally to be baked into this wonderful bread that nourishes others?
I’m Katie Andraski, and this is my perspective. If you’d like to hear me read this click here.
Sometimes when I’m working on something, I notice that other people are writing about the same thing. I do believe ideas take to the air around us, fluttering around our ears. And that was true of this post. I’m adding a few things that might be of interest.
This piece began as a draft of a Lenten devotional for In the Breaking of the Bread: Prayerful reflections by the people of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, First Lutheran Church of Dekalb and Salem Lutheran Church of Sycamore. These were wonderful daily devotionals, that you might be able to pick up from one of these churches.
L.B. Johnson also posted the following blog and essay. Do It Yourself Yeast Free Bread. She is the author of the bestselling Book of Barkley and Saving Grace: A Story about Adoption. Her blog arrives nearly every day, full of good writing.
Finally, Michelle DeRusha, a fellow blogger, posted a round up of books that included Out of the House of Bread by Preston Yancey. The back cover of Yancey’s book says, “In Out of the House of Bread author Preston Yancey leads us in a new but old direction of spirituality engaging the symbolism and experience of spiritual disciplines made plain and accessible by the baking of bread.” It looks like something I need to read.