Breaking Bread with Brother Bear ( Part II)

One of the base ingredients for baking bread, is water. Not only is water necessary, but we learn through its use particularly when we move to different areas of the world.. Bread tastes different in different locations although it is made with the exact ingredient list as it was made in the original location, because water, is water, but water is never quite the same in different places.

Particularly within the United States, water that is used to make Pizza, and Bagels, are never quite the same as they are when they are received in New York City, because of the water. In fact, so prized is this water for the purpose of making bread, that some bakers and restaurateurs will go so far as to import this water from thousands of miles away.

Water is part science, and part art and inspiration, when it comes to baking bread. The science gives us the base measurements, however, the art part comes in understanding that those measurements change according to weather, and humidity in the air, the desired crumb and crust of the bread your baking, and the methods involved in how all of the other ingredients come together.

In the church, from the very beginnings of our spiritual lives beginning with the creation of the world, has water played an integral part of our lives. We have as part of our life in the church, many uses for water for worship and as sacramentals to aid us on our spiritual passage.

“Nicodemus said to him, “How can a person once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?” Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.” ( John 3:4 )

This passage talks not only of the acceptance of Gods gift of salvation, but also about the sacrament of Baptism.
of course in the sacrament of Baptism, water is used as one of the sacramentals that is used as a sign of cleansing, or purification.

We also have water in our Holy Water fonts in the entrances to the church. We use this water as a sacramental when we enter or leave as a blessing, as protection from evil, a cleansing, and as a reminder of our Baptism.

During the Eucharistic celebration, water is added to the wine prior to the consecration rite. The reason we use the water included in the cup during the consecration, the water represents the people, the Church, the body of Christ. The wine represents Christ and this intermingling represents that Christ and the Church are one and we can not be separated.

You will also see water used when a priest or deacon takes a bowl of Holy Water and sprinkles the water over the people. This also has scriptural significance. Where in Psalms we read : “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow” (Psalms 51: 7)

In this Psalm there is water being used in a spiritual cleansing. In the Old Testament time period when a person was re-entering the Church after sin or after they were found to have leprosy, there was a ceremonial cleansing that was not only for the person, but also for the Church as a sign that they were cleansed.

As you can see, water has been the vessel chosen for the life of the kitchen, and the church.

Next time, we will talk about yeast or leaven.

May God give you the gift of His peace !


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