The image of bread is a powerful connection between us and the Bible. Both the Old and New Testaments make extensive use of this metaphor to capture our bodies, hearts and imaginations.
My grandfather had a bakery in Holland to support him and his family. Every day he rose early to bake bread, and other goodies as well. Bread was a staple. We often went to the bakery to get bread when I was growing up as our bread had no preservatives and would only last a couple of days at home before going moldy.
I remember a powerful testimony of a pastor in the Dominican Republic who pastored a little church in a neighborhood of Santo Domingo. He shared one night that the church building once used to be a bakery, his bakery, in fact. As a baker, his business was failing. He prayed to God to save his business. He had a vision of a loaf of bread on a table and the table broke in two right down the middle. He knew instantly that this meant that his business would not survive. However, the pastor was there to testify that night that God had a greater plan: instead of serving physical bread to the community, God wanted him to serve the bread of life!
The bread we serve people has a fresh aroma. We want to make sure that it is prepared well, that it has the right ingredients, and that it is baked the right amount of time. “We are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing . . . “ (2 Corinthians 2:15)
As prophetic people, we want to make sure that we are a fragrant aroma and not an offensive aroma. We serve the bread of life. This bread is life-giving. We want to make sure that the aroma we give off will attract people to the bread of life.
What aroma are you giving off? How can you ensure that you are the fragrance that Paul talks about 2 Corinthians?
Fragrance is attractive. How can we be the most attractive people on the planet? To dress exquisitely? In some contexts, that may be the most important value, but generally that’s not what I have in mind.
We will be the most attractive people if we love well. Love covers over a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8) This means that even if we don’t get the prophetic word right or it does not resonate with people (at this time), they will feel loved by us and be drawn closer to Christ, the bread of life.
After all, “if I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” (1 Corinthians 13:1)
What good does it do us if we speak the most accurate prophetic words and have the most interesting prophetic revelations but do not have love? If people don’t feel loved and valued by us, we are nothing.
Let us be the aroma of Christ to the world around us. Let us draw them to the bread of life.
By Ralph Veenstra