Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Bread and Jam

"the bread of life"
John 6:48

I had homemade bread today.  It's been a long time since I had that.  My wonderful brother-in-law gave us a bread-maker years ago, and we used it a lot, but then we went for awhile without using it.  But I'd been missing the experience, so the last time I was at the store, I picked up the yeast, and bread flour, and last night, I put all the ingredients in, and programmed it to finish the bread first thing in the morning.   So when we got up, that's what we smelled... you know that wonderful fresh-baked bread smell?  I hope you know.... if you don't, I'm sorry for you!  :)

A little while later, I was enjoying soft, fresh, nothing-compares-to-it bread with butter and strawberry jam. Mmmmm...... And I was praising God for fresh bread.  And of course, I was reminded of Jesus' words, "I am the bread of life."  Jesus made seven "I AM" statements in the gospels:  "I am the Bread of Life", "I am the Light of the World", "I am the Door of the sheep", "I am the Good Shepherd", "I am the Resurrection and the Life", "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life", and "I am the true Vine."  Each of these statements gives us insight into His relationship with us, and His love for us.  But I have always felt ~ perhaps wrongly, but it's just an opinion ~ that His "Bread of Life" statement is the most meaningful.  After all, we need bread to live.  It's sustenance, health, and most of all, it's simple.  Because we don't need fancy.  We don't need gourmet.  We don't even need, dare I say it, strawberry jam.

But as I was enjoying my wonderful bread today, I was thinking of how more bread offers.  The bread I was enjoying was a pleasure for all my senses.  The incomparable taste of course, and the tantalizing smell, but it was beautiful, too.  Golden-brown and the crispy crust was so smooth.  And how do I know it was crispy?  Why, I could hear it, of course!  The knife broke through the crispy outside to the soft, fluffy, quiet inside.... my hand held the warm, heavy loaf and then the almost weightless slice.  Well, weightless until I spread a thick layer of strawberry jam on there!

Freshly-baked bread smells delicious, but if I had gone no further after experiencing that pleasure, I would have missed out.  As a matter of fact, the best sensation ~ taste ~ comes last.  It's only after experiencing the sight, smell, sound and touch, that I get to experience the taste.

Jesus is the Bread of Life, and He offers so much more than we know.  His Word offers such depth, and richness, and promise.  And it is so much more than sustenance, it is pleasure.  Knowledge, wisdom, peace and joy.  Health and wealth and sweetness.  Even better than fresh-baked bread with strawberry jam!

~ "Taste and see that the Lord is good!" ~
Psalm 34:8

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