McDowell Technical Community College

Lana’s Lines

Sustaining Bread

By Lana Ellis


While preparing to write concerning this month’s theme “Plow, Sow and Reap”, I came upon this quote by Thomas Jefferson that was too good to pass up.  He said, “Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread.”

  Imagine the process that would be required if we depended on the government for our bread.  First a congressional committee is formed to discuss and debate the issue.  Meanwhile the sitting president appoints a Bread Czar.  However, after only a few days the czar has to resign because it has been leaked that he owns stock in Panera Bread.  Due to the lack of bread available to the consumer there are violent protests throughout the country.   In an attempt to quiet the chaos the president signs an executive order stating that all bread will be imported from France, ergo French bread.  The ink has not dried on the order before a judge declares it discriminates against bakers from other countries and nationalities.  Meanwhile there is no bread to be had.  Thank God for farmers across the country who do know when to sow and when to reap.  In the right season they get up before daybreak to plow the fields and sow the seeds that will produce wheat that will be ground into flour that will be made into bread that will be consumed by the likes of you and me.

Throughout the world bread is considered a sustainer of life and God provides our daily bread by way of the farmer.  The human soul is also in need of sustaining bread and God provided bread for the soul by way of Jesus.  The bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven and gives life to the world. (John 6: 33) Those of us who have partaken of that bread were once described by Isaiah as sheep who have gone astray and turned to our way.  There are many more “gone astray sheep” among us.  They are our neighbors, our friends, our co-workers.  Jesus says to us, “I am the Bread of Life.  If you love me you will feed the sustaining bread to my sheep.”

Lana Ellis resides in Kingsport, TN, next door to grandchildren.  She attends West Colonial Hills Baptist Church.