All of you know my passion for making bread. I have always loved to bake, and bread fascinated me with all the different kinds and textures. A little over 25 years ago my sister-in-law, Frances Wrenn, gave me a cup of sourdough starter someone had given her. I made the bread and decided this was a recipe that I liked. I worked with it – made a few changes and my journey with making bread continues. My greatest joy is to share my bread with others.
The starter is very important to the success of the bread. The starter is water, sugar and potato flakes that have fermented and fed the yeast. The yeast is very important to the end product – your bread. The yeast makes the dough rise and become airy and soft and good to eat.
The starter has to be fed on a regular basis or the yeast will die. It must be fed, used, refrigerated, fed, used, refrigerated, etc. If this process is followed the starter can be kept going for a long time. If the process is not kept up the starter will literally die. That means there will be no active yeast to make the dough rise.
Bread nourishes our bodies and gives us strength for our work and play each day. References about bread are found in different circumstances in the Bible. There are several that probably come to mind. The story in the Old Testament of God feeding the children of Israel the manna from heaven that kept them alive in the wilderness. In John’s gospel, Jesus says “I am the bread of life.” And then when was in the upper room with his disciples he took bread – broke it and said this is my body broken for you. Probably the one to come to mind most is the request in the Lord’s Prayer – give us this day our daily bread.
When Jesus says “I am the bread of life,” we understand the central place God has in our lives. When we ask for our daily bread, we are seeking more than bread to eat – we are asking for strength and grace to do the things God would have us do.
God offers us many kinds of starter gifts – skills, talents, love, and grace to name a few. Just like our bread starter we have to take care of them. We have to feed them so they may feed others. If we don’t share our skills and gifts, they will die for lack of use. When we accept God’s love and grace we can then share with others God’s greatest gift, Jesus Christ.
We thank you for our daily bread. We thank you for all the love and grace and forgiveness and peace you have given us. May we always be ready to share these gifts with others.
Dear God, we praise you for the gift of your Son Jesus, the Bread of Life, who unites us all. Guide us now as we work to do those things you would have us do. In Christ’s name, Amen.