Devotional - Health topics

Bread for Life

Sunday, April 11, 2021

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. John 6:51, NIV.

This cool spring morning I stand at my kitchen counter measuring ingredients into the big brown bowl. It is breadmaking day, a time to replenish my store of plump brown loaves of the staff of life, as my father always called bread. No meal was complete to him without a slice of the bread my mother made.

Mother taught me to make the wholesome wheat bread our family relished, often quoting: "It is a sacred duty for those who cook to learn how to prepare healthful food. . . . It takes thought and care to make good bread; but there is more religion in a loaf of good bread than many think" (The Ministry of Healing, p. 302).

And so I carry on the tradition, although now my family is grown, and I could easily buy wholesome bread at the market. To me it is almost a spiritual exercise to knead the soft dough, to shape it into loaves and put it in the pans, then to wait for it to rise. And as the bread bakes, the mouthwatering aroma of fresh bread fills the whole house.

With pleasure I share the brown, crusty loaves with a busy young mother and her lively youngsters next door, or my retired friend whose wife is no longer able to bake and cook as she once did.

As I measure and mix the ingredients, I challenge my imagination to devise symbolic spiritual metaphors. Flour—the whole kernels of God's word. Leavening—the working of God's love in my life. Salt—Jesus said, "Ye are the salt of the earth" (Matt. 5:13, NIV). Honey—the sweet spirit of love for God, for family, for all I meet. Oil—the Holy Spirit. Water—the living water Jesus offered (see John 4:10, 14). Bread—the completeness of Jesus' life and His sacrifice when He called Himself the Bread of Life.

Give me, dear Lord, this bread of life that I may live thereby, now and eternally.

Challenge: you can learn to bake bread. Ernestine Finley from It Is Written has a great video, called Natural Lifestyle Cooking: Homemade Breadmaking Made Easy, to inspire you and get you started. Call 1-800-522-4234 or contact your local SDA church for instruction.

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.