Bread. The word itself alone can bring many images to mind. Bread is the most basic of foods used to sustain our physical bodies.

The Bible has many references to bread. In the Old Testament, bread was the source of the Israelites’ survival and when disobedient, God would threaten to break the Israelites’ “staff of bread” (Leviticus 26:26).  He would also send the “bread of adversity” (Isaiah 30:20) or the “bread of tears” (Psalm 80:5).

In Numbers 14:9, we read: “And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us; their protection is removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them.” On the other hand, when God promised “a land where you may eat bread without scarcity” (Deut. 8:9), He was offering them life. In Exodus, God feeds his people manna, saying, “Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.” (Ex. 16:4)

Bread conjures up images of coziness and warmth. It’s impossible not to take a deep breath upon entering a warm kitchen with the smell of freshly baked bread. “Breaking bread together” is the community and fellowship of sharing meals. Acts 2 describes the early church – “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts” (Acts 2:46).

Cheese Braid

We break bread together in observance of the Lord’s supper.  “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.  (I Corinthians 11:23-24). In Matthew 4:3, the devil challenged Jesus to turn the stones into bread during Jesus’ temptation (Matt. 4: 3) and finally in the Lord’s Prayer we are taught to pray for our “daily bread.”

The promise of Jesus is this “Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35). “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh.” (John 6:51)

Bread and the breaking of bread together is more than just a food and more than just a meal. Breaking bread around the table of fellow believers is a time for shared experiences, a time of intimacy, a time for celebrating our love for life.

by Linda Tigges

Spanish Coffeecake (a quick bread)

5 cups of flour

2 cups of brown sugar

1-1/2 cups of white sugar

Scant 1-1/2 cups vegetable oil

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Mix the ingredients together. Set aside 1 cup for topping. To the remainder add:

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups of buttermilk

2 eggs

Mix together for 4 minutes and pour into 3 loaf pans.

Mix 1 cup of nuts (optional) into the reserved topping and sprinkle the mixture over the batter in the loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.