Two Kinds of Food

Ausbund, 89

We need two kinds of food to survive. The first kind is Spirit and Life. It is the Word of God, the food of the soul. It comes from God and makes us like God for all eternity.

The other kind is natural food, only for the body. It goes into the mouth but does nothing for the soul that only the Holy Ghost can feed.

In the desert our fathers ate the bread from heaven that pointed to Christ. He is the promised bread, the Word that brings rest, Spirit, and life to the soul.

The Scriptures tell us the Word bears those that receive it again, turning them into children of God. The Word becoming flesh in them joins them to the body of Christ our Lord. Given to him in baptism, like Paul says, they become little members of his body, the church community, through the Word—the flesh and blood of Christ.

For this reason he calls them the holy community of God, redeemed through the blood of Christ, made new and born again into the Kingdom, their sins forgiven. The bread we break is the fellowship of the body-community of Christ. Though made of many grains it becomes one indivisible whole.

The same happens with the vine. Though it has many branches, one power flows through them all. And the lamb the Israelites ate together was Christ, like the rock from which the water in the desert flowed. All this the bread of heaven, food for the soul. Pray to God that it may be multiplied in you!

God, you are pure Light! You shine through eternity and all things live in you. Thank you for teaching us the Way of Truth!

anonymous Anabaptist writer, 16’th century, Europe

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