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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hungry for the Bread of Life?

Between college and my first pastorate I worked as a retail bread salesman in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Gloria and I were newlyweds then. Soon we will celebrate our 52nd Anniversary. I worked long hours in Niagara Falls, six days a week, and earned about $100 per week. Finally, in November of that year (1958) a church called me to be its pastor. In December I stopped selling bread and began to break the bread of life to members of the church that had called me to be its pastor. Suddenly, my salary went from $100 per week to $50 per week, but the privilege of serving a congregation on behalf of the Savior was priceless. Now, 52 years later I still consider ministry a priceless privilege.
Times have changed since 1958. When I sold bread in Niagara Falls, an 18-ounce loaf cost 12 cents and a dozen donuts cost 28 cents. Now a loaf of bread may cost 3 or 4 dollars and one donut costs more than a dozen cost in 1958. Of course, salaries have risen too. However, occasionally I drive many miles to preach, and then I return home with only the satisfaction of having shared the bread of life with hungry believers. I have often said I would rather preach without pay than be paid not to preach; a few congregations have tested that philosophy.
Bread has always been a staple food and probably always will be. It seems consumers are willing to buy bread at any price. I just wish there was a heavy demand for the bread of life throughout the land. It seems many believers want to see a national revival, but how many hunger for the bread of life? We may have a revival someday, but I don’t think it will happen until first we have a reBible.