Holding my fresh loaf of Frances’ bread

We grumble about Mondays and thank God for Fridays, but I personally have a new reason to welcome Wednesdays – it’s bread delivery day!

My friend Frances (aka The Crumb Mum) and her daughter Elle bake the most amazing whole grain bread I have ever tasted. Each loaf weighs 2.5 pounds yet slices up unbelievably light and moist. Frances’ secret is that she and Elle grind their own grain and bake the bread minutes after it’s been milled.

Frances told me that time is of the essence when it comes to making whole wheat bread because most of the nutrients found in the kernel of wheat disappear within 72 hours of the milling. But by grinding her own grain, she preserves the 26 vitamins and minerals found in wheat berries.

She and Elle also deliver, and a highlight of my Wednesdays is getting  a call from the receptionist down in the lobby at Tyndale saying, “Maggie, you have bread waiting for you!” The bread comes encased in a non-porous bag  with the distinctive Crumbs tag,  and it’s so fresh it’s practically still warm.

Can you tell I am passionate about good bread? I’ve enjoyed beignets in New Orleans, cornbread in Nashville, and Portuguese sweet bread in New England.  When Mike and I have traveled internationally, we’ve picked up crusty baguettes in French patisseries, fragrant samosas in Kenya, and sweet loukoumades in Greece.

What is it about bread anyway? Most of us would gladly give up other items in the food pyramid before we’d forego our daily bread. Mike and I have been trying – with limited success this year – to observe a partial Daniel Fast during Lent, but Mike’s internist told him emphatically that given his health history Mike needs to keep bread in his diet.

As I picked up my loaf at work this afternoon and returned to my office upstairs, I hefted it in my hands and thought of the tasks waiting on my desktop. I work in the field of Christian publishing, and our corporate motto is to minister to the spiritual needs of people through literature consistent with biblical principles. We work really hard to give our readers their spiritual “daily bread.”

 Jesus said that unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains alone. He was referring to his own approaching death – the event we commemorate each year during Holy Week. John 12:24 foreshadows the fact that Christ’s death and resurrection would produce many new “kernals” – a plentiful harvest of new lives.

2700 years ago, the prophet Isaiah wrote of One who would be pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins, beaten so we could be whole, whipped so we could be healed (Is. 53:5).

Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday, followed by Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and then Resurrection Sunday. During this holiest of weeks on the Christian calendar, my thoughts are turning to the One who was born in Bethlehem, which in Hebrew means  “house of bread.”

This week once again Mike and I have received Frances’ and Elle’s life-giving bread, and as we take it into our bodies with grateful hearts, we do it in remembrance of Him.