Bread is an everyday essential for us all. You only need to walk through the bakery section in a supermarket to see the array of different types and shapes of bread available. If of course you make your own bread you will know it is made up of several basic components, flour, salt, sugar, yeast, water and often either butter or olive oil. These basic ingredients are worked together to make a dough which has to be kneaded (worked) and then set aside to rise before being baked. Without water the bread would be dry; without flour the bread would not be bread; without salt the bread wouldn’t be as tasty; with no yeast it wouldn’t rise. They all need to be there to do their different job to make a perfect loaf.
In The Bible in the New Testament in Romans Chapter 12 verses 4-5 Paul writes ‘A body is made up of many parts, and each of them has its own use, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others’ (Contemporary English Version).
Each person reading this edition of the ‘Messenger’ is a unique individual, each being different but all are joined together by the fact that they live within the same geographical area or are associated with the area in some way. Just like the ingredients that make up bread having to work together to produce a basic food for us isn’t it the case that to make an effective community it is important that each individual be recognised as an integral and worthwhile contributor to that community? As a Christian I believe that God meant the world to be made up of people of different kinds, different races, different faces, different shapes and sizes. We are all intended to share the world and more locally our community, celebrating our differences whilst working together as ‘one body’ to support each other.
But just like the ingredients that make up bread, if they are left in the cupboard and not actively worked together then they will never become bread. Isn’t this true of our community /locality too in , that times have changed and in localities like ours which were once cohesive communities they have become places where sadly people are ‘strangers’ to each other?
Just one small act of kindness to a neighbour or a smile to someone you pass in the street can make all the difference!
(This article by Rev. Sally Mason was originally published as part of St David’s Messenger in February 2014)