Body of Christ, Bread of Life

Saturday, August 2

White bread and brown breadBy Eileen Turner of Portland, Oregon, USA

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.

—James 3:17–18 NRSV

Once a month we celebrate Communion, also called the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. Other faith communities call it “Eucharist.” A simple piece of bread and a taste of wine or grape juice symbolize the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In the Northwest USA is a man whose bakery is renowned for its fresh, healthy, organic breads. Ironically, its name is Dave’s Killer Bread. His creative and innovative way of combining whole grains, seeds, berries, and nuts make for a delicious loaf. But, what is more remarkable is the transformed life of this baker.

In his early years, he suffered from depression, suicidal thoughts, and hopelessness. He thought the only way to seek relief was to turn to drugs and alcohol. To support his habits, he adopted a lifestyle of criminal action. After many prison terms, he finally was able to resurrect the gifted, talented, creative person he is. He returned to his family business and made it into an outstanding, thriving company.

For us, taking the bread and receiving the wine allows us to evaluate our own life in comparison to that of Jesus Christ. For Dave, the bread he creates is his “gift back” to the community he abused and robbed. Each new bread recipe receives a new name, so you will see some interesting breads on the grocery store shelf.

Dave’s transformed life makes him a motivational speaker in communities today as he gives back to his world. His “Bread of Life” has literally been his lifesaving grace.

Tomorrow, as we celebrate the life of Christ with bread and wine, may we be aware of the hungry; may we always have his Spirit to be with us. Amen.

Prayer for Peace Covenant God, help us act in the stead of the One we remember. May we invite to the table those he would invite, feed those he would feed, and share the peace he would share.

Spiritual Practice: Abolish Poverty, End Suffering Read and reflect on John 21:15–17 as a meditation. Let your mind be drawn to places where people have no homes. Be aware of the hungry and homeless, who wander the streets or live in shelters. Let the images fill your mind. Offer a prayer for those who suffer. Imagine Christ tending those sheep. Think of ways you might end their suffering as part of your mission

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will prepare an offering for tomorrow’s sacramental worship.

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