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Start a meal with challah and praise

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ELISA NORMAN

Living Word Jewish-Christian Congregation

Challah is a delicious bread made with eggs and yeast traditionally prepared for the Sabbath.

Challah means "praise" and its preparation is an act of worship.

I used to make challah with a wonderful recipe from a friend using white flour and honey.

The congregation would share it at the beginning of the Sabbath meal.

Afterwards, people would divide the remainder and take it home to eat for breakfast, warmed in the oven and drenched with butter.

Challah bread disappeared within a day or two.

However, we have some health conscious folk in our congregation, and I got the brilliant idea of switching from white flour to whole wheat.

White flour loses much of its nutrients though processing, lacks fiber, and takes the blame for being a contributing factor in a multitude of health problems including cancer and diabetes; whole wheat, on the other hand, comes complete with fiber and nutrition, nourishing the body and keeping it healthy.

It builds the body rather than destroying it.

My congregation was delighted with the switch. Each week as the bread was passed, someone would comment on how wonderful it was to have whole wheat.

However, after several weeks, I noticed a curious thing.

No one carried home the leftovers anymore and the leftovers at my house tended to sit untouched throughout the week.

My experience with the bread can be equated to congregations.

Symbolically, white flour in the form of musical entertainment serves as the main attraction of many congregations.

While singing and dancing have a place in biblical worship, congregations that tend to focus on these for the main course of their spiritual experiences are missing the nutrition found only in the pages of the scriptures.

Bible study is the highest form of worship, represented by whole wheat bread.

This is what is good for us, sustains us, builds us up and nourishes us with the very mind of Messiah.

But, it’s hard work.

Have you ever heard someone say, "I’m a very spiritual person, but I’m just not into the Bible?"

Like whole wheat bread, the Bible just doesn’t taste good to them.

We need to train our palates to appreciate the Word of God, for congregations that focus on the white flour fluff rather than the whole wheat Bible are in danger of missing the mark.


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Nelson Propane

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