Real Bread

            This is one of those times I can tell you things I can’t tell my own mother.  I’ll explain shortly, but first a short fable for background.

            Once a baker wandered far from home to explore places unknown to him.  One hot afternoon after walking many miles, he stopped at a small village, hoping to rest and find refreshment at an inn.  He was intrigued to learn the inn’s diner specialized in bread.  Why not taste the fare offered by another baker for good measure?  Perhaps he and the town baker could learn from each other.  To his surprise and disgust, the bread tasted like a mouthful of bland glue.  He sought out and politely quizzed the local baker about the awful bread.  To his horror, he learned the bread was made mostly from one part flour and five parts sawdust!  It had been thus for many generations.  The villagers all loved it, not knowing any differently.  They had grown up believing they were eating only the finest bread.  Who was he to complain?  He was obviously out of step with the community.  In village after village on his travels, he found the same thing—lousy bread with complacent contentment.  Discouraged, he circled back home with new resolve to make even better, truly excellent bread for his own townspeople.  Desiring that others know and experience high quality bread, he puzzled over how to broaden his market to outlying villages.

            Back to the present.  Once I received a letter from my mother, which included two typed messages she had delivered to the church congregation on separate Sunday mornings.  Other church members had been filling in, too, because the Presbyterian church where my folks attend was without a minister at that time.  Apparently supply ministers are hard to come by, and no one knew when a full time minister will be assigned.  Their last minister was a woman.  So is the one they have now.

            As for the content of my mother’s messages to their church, it’s written well and was probably spoken well enough; but it’s bland and contains no real Bible truth, like the bread the baker in our fable found in outlying villages.  The messages preached by male ministers over 30 years ago when I attended were the same.  Therefore, with all due respect, I wouldn’t have expected much different from my own mother when she was allowed to speak.  Unless she asks my opinion, I don’t plan to talk to her about any of this.  Any such discussion will have to be couched in all the tact I can muster.  I’ve argued enough with my parents in the past to know my thoughts have little consequence.

            Like the fabled baker, I’m puzzled as to how to get the good stuff out there.  What if I were allowed to preach to my parents’ congregation?  What would I say?  What Bible passages could I effectively use among Bible illiterates?  Naturally, I’d do my best to preach the true Gospel of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection to save sinners, and that all of us are sinners in need of His salvation.  Sounds pretty simple, but would anyone really listen?  Would they get it?  That’s something I’d have to leave to the Holy Spirit.

            What about you?  Have you had it with fluffy platitudes tagged with an occasional Bible verse?  How’s your appetite for Jesus Christ, the Real Bread?

***      “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4).

            “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” (Jn. 6:35).

Explore posts in the same categories: Christian Life, Thoughts from John

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