Whenever we're in New York visiting our family, we make at least one trip, if not several, to a local bakery. Just thinking about it brings a quick recall to my mind of the aroma that lures me into that place ... where I find the most amazing assortment of donuts, muffins, bagels and breads. This hard-to-resist, silent, aromatic invitation always causes me to breathe deeply of an aroma that has no boundaries. It escapes through locked windows, closed doors, and cannot be contained in ovens or bread cases.

Jesus said, "I am the living bread." There is a fragrance about His life that draws us to eat of Him, so we will live forever (John 6:51). We assimilate natural bread by physically eating. We assimilate Jesus, the Living Bread, by believing on Him (John 8:47). He invites us to believe Him in the midst of circumstances that, on their own, will not sustain anything close to having a "hope and a future." He asks us to believe Him, to eat of His life—on mornings when we'd rather go golfing than face a challenging meeting that's scheduled for 10 a.m. When we eat of His life on those days, there comes a fresh bread aroma that spills over with His wisdom, His acceptance of people, and His over-the-top generosity of grace and truth.

All of us in ministry have times when we feel like day-old bread on a shelf at the market that's been labeled "50% off." We're neither fresh, fragrant, nor warm to the touch. There may even be the beginnings of green mold growing. Our value seems to be, at best, half price—a good deal for a few, but not satisfying to most. Italians from centuries ago in Tuscany used to take old, dry bread, soak it in oil, water, and vinegar, add some veggies and create panzanella, a bread salad. And that's good advice for us, too. Coming apart and soaking our dry lives in some solitude, silence and private worship creates a new recipe, by which the taste of the Bread of Life is delicious again!

Mmmm, what do I smell? Ah, it's the aroma of the Bread of Life in the Mid-Atlantic District! Yes, and in all our wonderful districts, Life Pacific College, Ignite, church institutes, internships, future church plants and our international, global family. Bon appétit!

Prayer Focus: He made Himself the Bread of Life to satisfy our hunger for love, for Him. Let's pray we, as a Foursquare family, will eat and live and fulfill His desire when He said, "I was hungry and you fed Me" (Matthew 25:35).

"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him." -2 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV)

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By: Harriet Z. Mouer, supervisor of the Mid-Atlantic District of Foursquare churches