Daily Bread January 20

Baking Bread
Vera Entwistle, World Service Corps, Taiwan

These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another, render in your gates judgements that are true and make for peace. -Zechariah 8:16

I used to bake my own bread. I enjoyed the routine of clearing off my kitchen counter and lining up all the ingredients. I knew I would need a large working space. Baking bread can be very exhausting unless you have a bread machine to deal with all the kneading, but for years I baked without the benefit of a machine.

At the end of the kneading cycle the dough is smooth and shiny. It is at that point that good bakers know they must place the dough in a warm place, cover with a cloth, and leave it alone. The dough needs to sit untouched so that it can rise. My mother told me that even banging a cupboard door could disrupt the rise of the dough. I knew that I, too, needed to be still. I would make a cup of tea, pull up a stool, and simply rest.

I have a strong memory of the day I was baking bread and thinking of a friend who wanted to learn about the church and was considering baptism. As I sat sipping my tea, I thought of how baking bread is like sharing the gospel with others. There comes a time when you have done all you can do and said all there is to say. You have to be still and let the spirit work. All I needed to do is give my friend space to consider. Sometimes, in my impatience, I try to think of what else I can do or say to help my friend make the final decision about baptism, but I know I need to rest.

Baking bread can be physically exhausting, but guiding a friend to Christ can be an enriching experience for both of us, as long as I realize there will come a point where I need to rest. In my impatience I think of a friend who knew me well enough to buy me a tea cup that read, “Grant me patience, Lord, but hurry!” I also often think of a statement made by Winston Churchill during WWII, “They also serve who only stand and wait.”

Prayer Phrase

“Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day…” (Psalm 139:12).

Spiritual Practice

Repeat this month’s prayer phrase slowly and intentionally within your heart. Invite this prayerful repetition to open a space of presence to the divine light within you. Where are you experiencing the light of God in your life and in the world?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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