Beth: The second letter in the Hebrew alphabet and a designation meaning house.
Thus, Bethel means house of God.
Bethany means house of the poor.
How symbolic then, that Bethlehem, meaning house of bread, is the city in which the Bread of Life was born. A city that is still alive today!
As I thought about this title, I reflected on the stories of Jesus that involved bread.
The first that came to mind is the story of the five loaves and two fishes, which resulted in the feeding of 5000.
Then I thought of the Last Supper and the institution of the Sacrament.
And then one of my favorite stories of when He walks the road to Emmaus, walking with and teaching Cleopas and his friend, and finally breaking bread with them before vanishing out of their sight.
To the Israelites, Jesus provided manna.
To Moses the Lord said, “I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel; speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God” (Exodus 16:12).
To the Jews, Jesus lived among them in the flesh.
To them He taught, “My Father giveth you the true bread of heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” And then testified, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger” (John 6:32-33,35).
To us, in our day, the Bread of Life has given us the fullness of His everlasting gospel.
Jesus commands us - which is so fitting for this Christmas season - “Do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness” (2 Nephi 9:51).
How grateful I am to the Sacrament. A saving ordinance of which I can partake weekly as a remembrance - – a sacred reminder – of the Bread of Life.
To Whom I owe everything.