Part 2: Oh Kale No.
I.love.carbs. So this is me flipping between Genesis 3 and Revelation 21 only to realize that THERE MIGHT NOT BE BREAD IN HEAVEN???!!!!
I know. It's so sad. Deep breaths, carb-lovers. Take heart. We're about to explore the bookends of scripture as it relates to our bread bible study. I for one love to hollow out rich crusty bread ends for food-goodness. Sandwich bread ends = the best French toast. French bread ends = soup bread bowl, duh. Challah bread ends = Nutella vehicle to mouth.
Together we're going to look at the bread ends of the scriptures. Take a look at the first mention of the word bread in the bible...
Genesis 3: The ground is cursed because of you. You will eat from it by means of painful labor all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. You will eat bread by the sweat of your brow until you return to the ground, since you were taken from it. For you are dust, and you will return to dust.
As God describes (not prescribes) the curse to Adam and Eve, he points out they are being pushed out of the garden away from his presence. In the beginning, God created something good. His project to see all his image bearers co-labor and flourish started in a garden where the soil was good. God's co-creators would have all their needs met by the produce of the garden, there was no need for bread. Now take a quick glance once again at God's description of the role of bread in the curse on Adam.
"You will eat bread by the sweat of your brow until you return to the ground, since you were taken from it. For you are dust, and you will return to dust.”
"Until we return to the ground" had me in a tailspin. And for good reason. Bread is like breathing to me, I must have it to live. Lest you think I'm just being dramatic, I'll refer you to the late, great King David singing about God the Creator in Psalm 104.
David goes off on the majesty of the one true living God by crediting him with the power to create and sustain all things. Apparently, when we absorb the truth that God is great, clothed in majesty, splendor, and light, our soul starts to pour out praise to God.
You see, God established the earth, and because he sustains it, it will never be shaken. You see, God spread out water like a canopy, walks on wind, makes fire his servant, rebukes and terrifies the waters while controlling their movement. You see...
Psalm 104: 14 "He causes grass to grow for the livestock and provides crops for man to cultivate, producing food from the earth, wine that makes man's heart glad, making his face shine with oil and bread that sustains a man's heart."
And there it is. Bread sustains our hearts. Makes sense that David is about to say...
Psalm 104:27 "All of them wait for You to give them their food at the right time. When You give it to them, they gather it; when You open Your hand they are satisfied with good things. When you hide your face, they are terrified; when You take away their breath they die and return to the dust. When you send Your breath, they are created, and You renew the face of the earth."
David knew the beginning of the God-story. He knew that in the beginning we didn't need bread, that's why it wasn't present in the garden. And David knew bread was a part of our curse. It reveals our separation from God's presence and the work we will have to do to participate in God's provision. Bread and breath were linked for King David because God's presence is our daily bread. So there. I'm with David.
I'm not happy the first mention of bread is a part of God's curse upon humanity after Adam and Eve sell us out to our fate as rebels. But I'm comforted by David's rich song of praise to God that links bread and breath. He gets me.
As previously mentioned, this yearlong study of the word "bread" in the scriptures kicked off with a realization that bread, my greatest comfort food, glorious bread, will not be with me in the new heaven and the new earth according to John's vision of God's story culminating. A wedding feast without bread?
I took the news hard until I realized bread is in the same boat as faith and hope. Many things that comfort us now in our brokenness will simply not be needed when God makes all things new. Because when God makes everything right, and recreates to complete our redemption, we won't need comfort food because we wont need comforting. See for yourself...
Revelation 21:1-6 "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea no longer existed. I also saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband. Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look! God’s dwelling is with humanity, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away. Then the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new.”
Fruit gets a shoutout in John's vision of the Christian hope of God's redemption, but it seems the vision of our blissful eternity doesn't include bread. See below...
Revelation 22:1-3 Then he showed me the river of living water, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the broad street of the city. The tree of life was on both sides of the river, bearing 12 kinds of fruit, producing its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree are for healing the nations, and there will no longer be any curse.
"There will no longer be any curse." Yaaaaaassss. No amount of Roro's Cinnamon Rolls could fill my hope-hunger the way John's vision could. What would your life look like if all the curses were broken? You know. That thing that lingers in your lineage. What if it didn't exist anymore?? Gone. I can't fathom what my life would like now if the curse of substance abuse & mental illness did not exist in my family history.
Although we may not have bread in the new heaven and new earth, we will be trading our need for comfort for a future reality where no curse will continue. And I for one would gladly up trade my family curses for a reality without bread when you put it in those terms.This changes our present, doesn't it?
Even if the new heaven and new earth won't have any bread, God will be dwelling with humanity and all the curses will be broken. We may not break bread together but we will enjoy broken curses together forever.
In a season of great spiritual hunger, I started to follow the breadcrumb trail through the sacred scriptures to find the most satisfying bread for our soul: Jesus.
This led to an obsession with the 300+ times “bread” is mentioned in the holy scriptures, and you’re reading the results, a 16 part bible study: I.Love.Carbs.
Let's break bread together. You could start from the beginning here & be sure to sign up to get the latest blog post delivered right to your inbox >>>>>