You’ve heard it before; there is far more to Christmas than decorations and beautifully wrapped gifts. Without a doubt these things add to our celebration of the Christmas season but this year let’s make Advent a bigger story. It’s a story about God’s perfect gift for us. My gift for you these next 26 days is a daily serving of my own “homemade” Christmas bread.
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past. Micah 5:2
Bethlehem is a name that makes me think of an overcrowded village and a road-weary couple. Two people forced to make a tough journey at the most inopportune time. Those are not pretty thoughts until you realize the meaning of that small village’s name changes the whole picture. “Bethlehem” means “House of Bread” in both Hebrew and Aramaic. Jesus is the Bread of Life born in the House of Bread. That’s no accident of history, it’s The Perfect Christmas bread.
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Matthew 26:26
It was simple thankfulness Jesus felt as he shared that bread with his friends. Then he spoke those words that gave that bread a new meaning. It was a deeper meaning that took some thought on their part. Today we call it Communion. This Christmas those same words may deserve some deeper thought from us as we celebrate Communion. It’s our thoughtful participation that will change that moment from a holiday ritual to the perfect gift for you to offer at the cradle.
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35
Jesus says he is THE Bread of Life. He’s not one of many choices like on the supermarket shelf. THE Bread of Life promises he can fill your life…forever…if you will just come and believe.
Give us this day our daily bread. Matthew 6:11
Those words are a familiar part of an old prayer almost everyone has heard. Who would have thought they are not just old ritual words but God’s provision for those who are hungry today; Bread that can be shared. A small, freshly baked loaf of homemade bread and a card that includes your favorite words “from the mouth of God” would be a great gift for a neighbor or a friend this year. In fact it would be The Perfect Christmas Bread.
Jesus answered, “It is written: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4