Pause for Thought June2011

I stood in Morrisons the other day completely confused. I just wanted bread – easy enough you might think! But what had got into me? It was the sheer choice! Did I want white or brown? What shape should it be? Should it be sliced or wrapped? Or should I buy a ‘speciality’ loaf? What would my visitors like best?


I must have spent at least five minutes making up my mind – but it made me think what a sad world we live in – why do we need so much choice and wasn’t it better when each household made their own bread – not from a breadmaker, but in the old way that took time and care.


And, of course, in our Christian tradition bread is very significant. Led on in my thinking I took down a book which I had been given by a friend called ‘The One Loaf’ and I found a poem that was called ‘ A Long Way from Bread’ by David Scott and I quote some of it:


We have come so far from bread.
Rarely do we hear the clatter of the mill wheel;
see the flour in every cranny,
the shaking down of the sack, the chalk on the door,
the rats, the race, the pool,
baking day, and the old loaves;
cob, cottage, plaited, brick.


We have come so far from bread.
Once the crock said ‘BREAD’
and the bread was what was there,
and the family’s arm went deeper down each day
to find it, and the crust was flavoured.


We have come so far from bread.
Terrifying is the breach between wheat and table,
wheat and bread, bread and what goes for bread.


Loaves come now in regimens, so that loaf is not the word. Hlaf
is one of the oldest words we have.


I go on about bread because it was to bread that Jesus trusted the meaning he had of himself...
I know that...
‘man cannot live on bread alone.’
I say, let us get the bread right.

I thought I was getting old and nostalgic – but perhaps there is something deeper touching me – and it just maybe that it is time to get back to kneading and waiting for the dough to rise – yes let’s ‘get the bread right’.