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Faith: Prepare to meet your baker

By Richard Harp

This is the slogan for the local Great Harvest Bakery in Trussville. Recently, a challenging yet inspirational story took place regarding their company and our congregation. 

We had a family of three visit with us for worship one Sunday. Their mother filled out a visitor’s card, explaining that she and her daughters had just moved to Alabama from the far Northwest and were looking for a church family. I called that week to encourage them and to thank them for attending. 

One of the daughters answered the phone and I asked to speak with her mother. The shock I received was that she had passed away from her battle with cancer on Monday, only a day after we met her. Our congregation rallied around this family and, unbeknownst to me, several members reached out to them to encourage them and be Jesus for them. We held a memorial service, did our best to cover them all with love.

Several members volunteered to bring food before the memorial. This is when we learned a couple from church had delivered a loaf of Cinnamon Chip Bread from Great Harvest Bakery. The family was out, so they left the bread behind the screen door.

Unbeknownst to the couple that left the bread, the mother’s favorite item from Great Harvest was Cinnamon Chip Bread. (We all recently learned that Great Harvest began in Montana and had a local store in the family’s original town as well as in Trussville, Alabama.) To say the least, it was a shock for the family to find their mother’s favorite delicacy staring back at them as they entered their home. None of us were prepared for the inspiration of this event and the comfort it provided during a time when no comfort expected.

“Prepare to meet your baker” has never been more real and should be a slogan for our lives. It may just be a coincidence that Jesus referred to Himself as the Bread of Life.

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst’” (John 6:35).

Jesus was prepared to face the struggles of life when he faced hunger and temptation from Satan to give up.

“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16).

We can draw near to God through Jesus, our Bread of Life. He knows how to sympathize with us and through His example we can overcome Satan. When being tempted, Jesus told the Devil, “Man shall not live by bread alone but what proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). We must rely more on what God says than what we think or feel. Jesus is the Bread of Life because He is the greatest blessing from God – even greater than the manna that God sent from Heaven for Israel. He sustains us and keeps us during the hardest times we will ever face. Through Him we will be able to meet God face to face. Are you prepared to meet your baker?

A note from the Harp:  Richard preaches for the Deerfoot Church of Christ.

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