The Bread of Love, a holiday reflection

 

Bread—good, wholesome,
Wondrous bread,
Coming from the gracious earth;
Warmth and laughter, love and beauty
For the hungry heart.

As the holiday season approaches, many of us like to celebrate by baking special things to go with the season, like cookies or nut or fruit breads for the festive time. Bread is a staple of nourishment for all. In all cultures and countries, we find types of bread—tortillas, rice, and flat breads, to list a few. Bread is also a sign of hospitality and warmth, which we want to share during the holidays in abundance.

Bread of wonder, peace and kindness,
Love, fulfillment, O come down!
Jesus, child,
At our table;
Filling hearth and heart.

During the holidays, by contrast, though, we may feel terrible stress. Doing too much, buying too many gifts, we miss the point, and drive ourselves into the ground. Also, for many, the holidays are not a loving time. Holidays may be lonely and painful; making us feel angry and sad. In this stressful emptiness, we need a shining light.

In the chaos, we feel . . . a soothing calm. Remembering the true meaning of the holidays at hand, we find the source we need of hope and light!  In Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, true love is called to mind, as in all three we celebrate new life.

This year, may we tap into the beauty behind the stress, giving ourselves a chance to rest—a time to slow down. Around our holiday tables, may we be nourished and loved, letting our souls be sated, fulfilled by God!

 

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