Be gentle when you touch bread.

Be gentle when you touch bread

Be gentle when you touch bread
Let it not lie uncared for–unwanted
So often bread is taken for granted
There is so much beauty in bread
Beauty of sun and soil, beauty of honest toil
Winds and rain have caressed it,
Christ often blessed it
Be gentle when you touch bread.

–        Celtic prayer attrib. David Adam.

I love this poem – for me bread, and all food, is sacramental. God provides our food for our needs, we prepare it with love to nurture each other, and as we eat it we can be thankful for the miracle of digestion – it’s truly amazing how our stomach unravels the molecules, and sends them to be re-made into just what we need to flourish.

Whenever I bake bread, I am thankful for how such a simple thing can be so satisfying – kneading it, watching it rise, turning it into pizza bases like I did tonight. And it has the magical property of multiplying the number of teenagers in the house! I really did not know until I took my pizzas out of the oven that there were two extra large hungry boys over, but there was enough for everyone!

Just as one grain of wheat multiplies into several ears of grains, when bread is shared it seems to stretch too, from the feeding of the 5000 to sharing communion, to Friday night pizza.

Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.

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