House of Bread
I was privileged to grow up with a Mom who could really bake bread. My recollections are coming home after school, smelling the beautiful aroma as I got in the back door and then seeing the masterpieces filling the kitchen table. There were loaves of bread, dinner buns and the best of all cinnamon buns with raisins. Now, I know there are some of you that do not like raisins, but they make a cinnamon bun in my opinion. For a few days my family enjoyed the fresh baking and then it was back to the store bought stuff until Mom baked again. These goodies tasted especially good on a winters day after trudging more than a mile through the snow. No, we didn’t have to walk up hill both ways.
This morning during a brief conversation, one of my colleagues asked me a question. She said “did you know that the name Bethlehem, means “House of Bread” in the Hebrew language? I said I did not. This fact took me back to the memory of my childhood home, but I was quite astonished that I had always known Bethlehem as “the city of David”, the birth place of the baby Jesus. Yet, had never known the connection between this literal meaning of the name and who Jesus said he was later in his ministry.
Remember, Jesus called himself the bread of life and said whoever comes to me will never go hungry (John 6:35) and I am the living bread that came down from heaven whoever eats this bread will live forever (John 6:51). It is recorded in four books of the bible that at the last supper the scripture says he took bread, broke it, gave some to his disciples and said take this and eat it in remembrance of me.
It is no coincidence that Bethlehem, the town where Jesus was born means house of bread. The place where lowly shepherds saw a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger. The Bread of Life.