Wednesday, 6 July 2011

This bread

We make this bread in brokenness

and tentatively mould its form.

But life within creates, unseen,

a greater whole.

We bake this bread in hopefulness,

and wonder at the mystery

as fusing seed and rising yeast

commune as one.

We break this bread in faithfulness:

then eat and find ourselves renewed.

Bread for the world, work of our hands,

and blessed by God.

We ache for bread enough to share

with all whose hearts and hope are cold;

but ‘til that day when love flies free

God must send us.

Copyright © 2011 Gareth Hill Publishing/Song Solutions CopyCare, 14 Horsted Square, Uckfield, TN22 1QG

Tune: 337 H&P Almsgiving

Today was a day where we began with bread as we shared a stunning communion service. The quality of worship this week has been as high as I can recall with a quite outstanding band and gorgeous liturgies put together by Micky Youngson.

This morning's focus was on some words of Jesus, recorded in Luke 13:20-21

And again he said, ‘To what should I compare the kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.’

Vice-President Ruth Pickles wanted us to consider how the idea of baking was a good image for considering the Kingdom of God and our part in its work.

Baking was "satisfyingly messy" but totally dependent on collaboration, she said. Involved were the woman, flour, yeast, salt, honey, sugar, water, temperature and the oven but also it was essential to use the right proportions and the right temperature to avoid the end product being inedible.

What a good parable for the Kingdom of God, said Ruth, recalling the work of places like Somewhere Else in central Liverpool as a new way of being church. There friendship is enabled through yeast, flour and the process of making bread by hand.

But, said Ruth, huge change - like the action of yeast - begins small and we needed to recognise what we could and should do.

Enabling change across churches, circuits and districts as well as affecting denominations and cultures was risky, demanding and costly, said Ruth, but the Gospel called on us to act like yeast.

"We have become a people who identify themselves as not belonging to Christ but as members of High Street, Old Street or Bethesda or wherever ... dwindling in numbers or not we determine our building is the only place we can worship God week by week," she said.

"Sometimes our defence is that we are honouring our forebears; our history, but we ignore the message of our Gospel at our peril - we need to get messy, get collaborative. We need to sacrifice it in the process of leavening our society."


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  2. i live to make bread by hand.
    Herman Swan