Class serves up bread and more
Faith and Bake
Measure and Mix: Lectio Divina
On a recent Wednesday evening, a small group gathered in the kitchen of our children’s building for a bread baking class, under the guidance of Kristie Chandler and Jess Nix. Jess brought his sour dough starter of many years, the one that has accompanied him on journeys to several states. We laughed as he compared the starter to a child in its need to be fed, nurtured and cared for on a regular basis.
From the shared dough starter, participants were given a portion and instructed to knead their own loaf (cinnamon, rosemary, plain, or lemon) to take home and bake the following morning. While we prepared our loaves for later, bread for us to sample was baking in the church oven. Ahh… that delicious smell!
Finally, our individual tasks complete, we shared the sample loaves, fresh and hot from the oven. And, as we broke bread together, Jess shared these thoughts:
Baking can be a deeply spiritual experience. As our hands mindlessly knead the dough, on automatic pilot, our minds are freed to soar. Perhaps centering on a time of devotion as in the Lectio Divina* practice: read, meditate, pray, contemplate. A specific Bible passage may settle in, absorbed into our being just as individual ingredients blend in bread preparation. And we enter into a time of stillness. A time to take measure. A time to ask, “Is there too much of one thing and not enough of another in my life? Do I have the right mix?”
What we pour into our own lives matters, as do the ingredients that go into baking. We must be patient, knowing that as great recipes evolve, sometimes through trial and error, so do our spiritual lives. Sometimes we must reconfigure, must start over. Ever changing, our spiritual paths are continually in need of feeding...yet meant to be shared.
By Ann Knight
*"In Christianity, Lectio Divina (Latin for "Divine Reading") is a traditional Benedictine practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God's Word." Source