ode to a loaf of bread

Flour, salt, water, leaven
4 simple ingredients
the DNA of a simple loaf of bread

Good flour, good salt,
sea salt of course,
mixed together, soft and white

Water, fresh from the spring,
water contained, life giving water
stirred with leaven
                                    growing, bubbling

Sticky dough poured out
folded, pushed down
with floured hands

        turn,     fold,      push,
                turn,      fold,     push,
                        turn,     fold,     push

until

a smooth ball is born
soft, floury, smooth

ball        cradled in a warm bowl

        growing
                               aging                    
                                                                    until

                pushed up                  and out

punch down,
                           pour
                                          out
gather into my hands
          turn,     fold,     push,    stretch

As I shape the loaf into a floury round,
it springs up in my hands
The leaven is breathing inside

A cross, cut into the top
breaks the surface making
4 deep grooves where butter flows like a river

Bread baked,
                  scent of flour, salt, and leaven
                                                             drift from the oven

Food of life
                                                        staff of life
who will eat my loaf
what table will it grace

Great Cathedral or humble street corner
Lord, or commoner
all eat a simple loaf

Communion, Lord’s Supper, Eucharist
wherever 2 or 3 are gathered
a simple loaf graces the table

A simple loaf
The staff of Life
Bread and Grace,
A simple loaf
Offered
Received
Eaten 

Ruth Jewell, ©July 13, 2020

Breaking Bread

The Broken Loaf
The Broken Loaf

Luke 24:30-31a When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him;

[This was my Spiritual Practice offering this week for Prayerful Tuesday on the Cloaked Monk Blog]

I attended the 2013 Turner Lectures in Yakima this week and the focus of study was the Road to Emmaus. I have always been struck by the above words of Luke. The disciples recognized Jesus “in the breaking of the bread,” . . . a simple act, an everyday act! And, just like Cleopas and his friend, it is in the sharing of a common meal that Jesus becomes real to us. Not s special meal, rather an everyday meal where you sit down with family and friends, inviting the stranger into your close community. What a marvelous way to remember the one who always invites us to sit down and join him in a cup of tea, mug of beer, or maybe a nice glass of wine. Today when you go on your break, or maybe for lunch, look around you who would you never think to invite into your circle? Consider asking that person to join you, for in the encounter with the stranger you may just receive Jesus without knowing it.

The table is set
The food prepared
Who will come
Who will break the bread
Who will.pour the cup
Stranger, friend
Both are welcome
Poor, rich, healthy, ill
I call all to the feast
Come sing, laugh
With the joy of each other
So what if we sometimes
Disagree. Today
We sit at the table
And share a meal.
Grace in abundance
Poured out and
Running over.

Ruth Jewell ©October 8, 2013