Bread Offers a New Metaphor–WNIJ

By April 5, 2016Spirituality, WNIJ

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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.

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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.

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8 Comments

  • Mark Hessinger says:

    Rich Hungarian goulash, good German beer, and a long diamond shaped roll for my supper last night at Das Bratwurst Haus . . . and the bread was my favorite part of the meal!

    • katiewilda says:

      That sounds wonderful. What is in Hungarian Goulash? My favorite at Cheesecake Factory is the brown bread they serve as an appetizer.

      • Mark Hessinger says:

        It’s basically a stew with chunks of beef, carrots, and potatoes, flavored with onions, garlic, peppers, and paprika.

        A rustic brown bread would be fantastic with it too!

  • Shari tyson says:

    The word of God is bread. Gods keeps it fresh, vital and tasty do that we may grow into maturity. Your words are fresh bread, straight from the oven.

    • katiewilda says:

      Thank you so much for stopping by. You’re so right about the word of God being kept fresh, vital and tasty. I think that’s one of my challenges as a writer, to offer that freshness as I write. “Your words are fresh bread” is a lovely compliment…We need to do a PM visit one day on Facebook. I’d love to catch up with you on news…

  • Lynn D. Morrissey says:

    Katie,
    This is a lovely post, and not just because I love bread! My mother and I often joke that if we had nothing but bread and butter for the rest of our lives, we’d be satisfied. (I always hate to hear about wheat-free diets, afraid I couldn’t stick to them if I had to). Something struck me when you said that when Jesus broke bread, they saw him. that’s really a profound thought. And of course it wasn’t just when He broke bread at table, but when He, the Bread of Life, was broken on the Cross. That’s when we should see Him high and lifted up. Sadly, many people don’t see Him then. First the Bread must be broken at the Cross, before the Bread of Life will ever be shared with us at table, in fellowship. It’s a remarkable truth.
    I love your post.
    Thank you for sharing!
    Love
    Lynn

    • katiewilda says:

      Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. Your insight about how many of us don’t see Jesus broken on the cross is a good one. It’s becoming more a mystery the older I get. Richard Rohr had a great insight the other day that we live by the faith of Christ not faith in, that I am trying to work out. (I’m thinking of that verse, I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, not I but Christ liveth in me, and I live by the faith of the son of God. Faith of… in the old King James.) Well, thanks for your insight…

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