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Lenten Devotions: Baking Communion Bread

This Lenten season, Bread Blog will be running a series of devotions written by Pastor Ron Glusenkamp, senior pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church in Cherry Hills Village, Colo. The reflections are based, in part, on the music of Peter Mayer, accomplished vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter. The theme for this year's series is "Mighty This Love," named for one of Mayer's compositions (Listen to a special welcome message from Mayer).

This post is reprinted, with permission, from Glusenkamp's site, h20 devos. Audio podcast versions of the daily devotionals are also available.

Communion bread, baked by Pastor Ron, at Bethany Lutheran Church in Cherry Hills Village, Colo. (Courtesy of Pastor Ron Glusenkamp)

April 8, 2014

"Pass it on
Break the bread,
Lift the cup
Pass it on
The broken will be lifted up
Every gift grand and lowly
Every purpose great and small
At this feast they are made holy
By your name you have been called
By your name you have been called."
—Lyrics from "Pass It On," by Peter Mayer and Patricia O'Reilly

There is something wonderful about making communion bread. It doesn't take very long to do, and the results are just fantastic. I've put together a video on how I make communion bread according to the Luther Seminary recipe. It's pretty simple. I know for certain that each time you do it, you'll find that it's easier and also more fun.

Why do I think this is important? Well, I believe it is important to use bread as often as one can for communion. At our congregation we don't always use bread, but when we do, people seem to notice. I will also say that not everyone likes real bread at communion. I'm not certain of the reasons for that, but my hunch is that it's too "earthy."

In other words, I think for some people it's simply not spiritual enough. Now, I don't necessarily agree with that viewpoint, but I've been doing this long enough to realize that, ultimately, the "delivery system" — chalice or individual cups, wafers or bread — doesn't matter. What matters are, as Martin Luther said, the words "given and shed for you."

That's what Peter is singing about:

"Break the bread,
Lift the cup
Pass it on
The broken will be lifted up."

It's all about being in communion.


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Baking bread is such a heavenly delight for me! Especially when I bake ethnic bread delicasy "kolachi" from my Slovack heritage. I also love sourdough baking and cooking. Bread is so essential for life that baking bread brings like to the baker also. Then when one shares the loaf, communion occurs and it is wonderful. So, whether pretzels, loaves of bread, pastries or sourdough pancakes bread provides nourishment for soul and stomach. Peace, Ed

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