A Word on Wednesday: Bread

Walking into a kitchen with freshly baked bread offers one of the most soothing and comforting smells. It subtly invites gentleness and goodness. The aroma calls, “you are welcome here.”

Concretely, “bread” is a noun naming the food made of flour or meal mixed with milk or water, made into a dough or batter, with or without yeast or other leavening agents, and baked.

World Communion Sunday is a celebration observed by several Christian denominations, taking place on the first Sunday of every October that promotes Christian unity and ecumenical cooperation. It focuses on an observance of the Eucharist. Across the world, Christians will gather on Oct. 7, uniting in Christ in fellowship with one another while being connected to an approximate billion partaking in the same ritual. 

However, the idiom “break bread” is indeed very secular as an expression to eat a meal in companionship with others. The fellowship of sharing a meal is common in business, in family, and in community. Working lunches. Team dinners. Birthday parties. Fundraising meals. Soup kitchens.

A meal anchors us. The bread basket is passed, which we accept as a warming ritual of connecting.

Abstractly, “bread” can be shorthand for food or sustenance or even livelihood and, in slang, money. Author Sue Monk Kidd offers this abstraction: “Our stories are the best ‘bread’ we can offer each other.”

Stories can comfort, welcome, and connect us. What can be said to one another to emote that same warm invitation as a lightly-browned loaf?

 

 

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