Bakeries are a staple on Long Island.
My favorites were the bagels and hard rolls.
I do not know what it is about little breads baked on that island, but they are the best.
In all my years I have not met their equal.
What could be better than these goodies; still warm and slathered with melting butter??
My mouth is watering and I am not even hungry!
Bread is a comfort food for many of us.
Followed by mashed potatoes for me. :)
So it was no surprise to me that Papa would choose bread as a topic of conversation between us.
He kicked off the discussion with the opening verses in the Fourth chapter of Matthew.
Satan was trying to tempt Jesus, who had been fasting for forty days and nights, with the suggestion that He demonsttrate His power by turning stones into bread.
Our enemy knows that the best way to trip us up is to appeal to a weakness.
Hungry? How about a little bread?
Jesus responded, as He did with each temptation, with Scripture.
He knew and reminded the deceiver that we need more than just physical food to live. We need....
"Every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."What Papa spoke to my heart was that to stop at satisfying our flesh need for bread is to settle for so much less than what God offers.
Then He took me to the Sixth chapter of John (Via my pastor and for good measure He brought me back to the same passage the next morning.)
Here we read of the miracle of feeding over five thousand people with five small loaves of bread and two small fish.
The next morning the crowd was back for breakfast.
Sadly they sought Jesus for a free meal, not for Himself.
They were willing to settle for the temporary satisfaction of a full belly while missing the opportunity to discover the satisfaction of being fed spiritual food.
Jesus said it plainly in the Thirty-fifth verse,
"I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst."What was the message to my heart? A reminder that Jesus is my real food! He meets so much more than my physical need of sustenance!
Why do I seek Him? To make this life easier and more comfortable for the moment or for true life which is found in Him alone?
Further on in the chapter He teaches that unless we eat (partake) of His flesh and drink His blood, we have no life in us.
That sounds hard and weird on the surface, but not if we dig a little.
He is calling us to receive unto ourselves the sacrifice He made for us. Not only does that bring salvation; a cleansing of all our sin, but makes available to us the privilege and joy of being filled with Him.
There is nothing more joyously satisfying!
The last thing that my Jesus spoke to my heart about bread had to do with the simple, ordinary act of eating or we could say breaking bread.
In Luke Twenty-Four we find Him revealed as He broke the bread with the two disciples that He had traveled with on the road to Emmaus.
He always wants us to discover Him in our midst.
As we gather around the table; asking His blessing then eating and sharing fellowship, He is indeed in our midst. I got the sense that He wants me (us) to be acutely aware of His Presence; His entering into the time of breaking bread together.
"Where two or more are gathered in my name I am there in the midst of them."Yes, He is there sharing in the connection we have, rejoicing in the love we share!
I think I shall place an extra chair at the table as a reminder that we have an unseen guest.
Unseen, but not One who wants to keep His Presence hidden!
Oh, fill me up with Yourself, dearest LORD and help not miss Your Presence!