Oh my.  It’s hard to believe that combining a few simple ingredients can elevate fresh-from-the-oven bread to an entirely new status.  Warm, homemade bread is nearly perfect by itself, but the addition of sweet butter and strawberry preserves created something almost magical.  So delicious that I had a hard time talking with the friends gathered around my table.  Savoring the combined flavor of the tangy bread and sweet spreads distracted me from the conversation.

For the past three weeks, my Monday night community has been discussing “Out of the House of Bread: Satisfying Your Hunger for God with the Spiritual Disciplines” by Preston Yancey.  This book is about prayer and it’s about baking bread.  It guides the reader to explore nine spiritual disciplines while repeatedly making the same loaf of bread.  Discovering the parallels of practice and patience required to master both.

Yancey’s writing is poetic.  Putting words to the feelings deep in my heart.

The recipes for the “Sweet Butter” and “Simple Strawberry Preserves” is in the chapter on “Feasting” – a faith practice dear to my heart.  Yancey writes:

“Feasting is an act of defiance against the powers of evil in the cosmos, a declaration the battle has already been won, God has already declared victory…It is often said that life is done around the table, but it is often underappreciated how deep this work runs in us.  It is not merely that when we are around a table we are sharing stories, encouraging one another, or seeking forgiveness.  What we are doing is an icon of what is happening at the great table, the feast table of Jesus.  We are mirroring the connectedness of the life of God and, as we mirror, participating in it…Our tables point us back to the Table.  Our guests point us back to the Guest.”


Published by Wendy Kessler

The table is my favorite place to gather. It is where family & friends are nourished by good food and good conversation, as the sacred and the ordinary intersect over meals served daily.


  1. Bread like Christ can be so basic (water, flour, salt and yeast) or (love, trust, hope and joy) yet so nourishing and comforting. They are the blank slate and foundation on which to add the honey off life.


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