I’m surrounded by bread. The mixer whirls a lump of dough to a supple gloss while nearby, six swollen pans sit silently. My kitchen is misted with flour; I feel it beneath my shoes. The timer dings. I open the oven door to a blast of hot yeasty air which fogs my glasses. Pulling baked loaves out, I slip the six pans in and set the timer again. The aroma of bread hangs thickly; before the end of the day every corner of the house will smell like bread.
It’s Baking Day. I have risen early, like dough, to pull out flour and sugar and yeast and pans, bowls, mixers, spoons, so much gear… to mix and shape and bake what will come with me to sell at the Farmer’s Market tomorrow.
It’s a good life, for now, this life of hands in dough. I research flours and water content like my life depends on it. I ponder sugar versus honey, and how many eggs I’ll need from the neighbor who raises chickens. My wild sourdough is a source of pride because it’s the real thing: handed down from a friend of a friend, raised from wild yeast that floats in the air. Poring over recipes, I ponder what this week’s offerings should be. “Sourdough or Country French? What if I added nuts to the wheat bread?” I let curiosity guide my choices; bread is creativity to me.
Bread is absorbing. Bread is life. Bread nourishes people. I’ve seen this firsthand on the faces of Market-goers who come back for that loaf they loved last week. While it’s said we cannot live by bread alone, it sure seems like we could.
After these weeks spending time with bread, I’m beginning to understand why Jesus calls Himself bread. Every week at church, we take a tiny piece of bread and tell it to stand in for Jesus’ broken body. Every week I receive this bread into myself where it becomes, literally, part of me. This tiny tangible symbol of Christ’s sacrifice blooms and rises like yeast in my spirit. Like unbaked dough warmed into something nourishing and whole, I am being transformed week to week. Communion reminds us that taking Jesus’ brokenness into ourselves is the only way to wholeness.
Jesus is absorbing. Jesus is life. Jesus nourishes people. No wonder He’s bread.
Photo via <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/photos/food/”>Visual Hunt</a>