A year ago, we lost my Father in law to cancer. As we sat at the funeral and listened to the sentiments about him, one stuck with me: the Pastor paralleled his presence as the fragrance of baked bread: A sweet, consistent, comfortable, and steady presence that permeated through any room.
As I listened, I made a decision - I was going to bake bread.
If you know anything about me, you would be chuckling. Everyone in my family won the baking and culinary lottery - except me. I am the laughingstock of most holidays.
And yet, I was going to do my best to try.
Over the last year, I have worked on this art form. Some of the bakes have been underdone, some overdone - some what they call “failed bread,” meaning the bread rose too quickly and dropped or didn’t rise.
But one thing has remained constant: the aroma that has filled my home during each bake. It has been the only thing that matters to our whole family and me. With each bake, sometimes once a week, sometimes twice - we all think fondly of my Father in law and the presence he brought here on this earth as we long to see him again one day.
There is a beautiful biblical rhythm of conversation about bread. As I was reading about the significance of this week and what it represents, I was struck by something I had never realized…
30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. Luke 24:30
So this comes right after Jesus died and the resurrection. Some of the women followers found his tomb empty. Two of his followers were walking to Emmaus and talking about Jesus, and along came Jesus, yet they did not know it was him. That evening, they are at the table with him, and the minute he breaks bread and hands it to them - they pause, gasp, their eyes are opened, and they recognize their Lord - he is alive.
I cannot help but think of this significance: the opening of their eyes over the breaking of bread. The simplicity. A worldwide human experience. An experience they had with Jesus hundreds of times. In the familial, human experience - the smell of the bread, the breaking of it - they see their Lord for the first time after he had passed.
We have the same invitation. Easter is when most of the world puts down their typical daily tasks to gather with family, friends, and church communities. But even at the gathering, don’t miss the invitation. Women - don’t get lost in the hustle and bustle. Take the time to sit, break bread, look into the eyes of the people we love, and allow yourself to see Jesus inside of them.