To feed the world


Little town of Bethlehem in

Hebrew means house of bread.

Middle-eastern innkeeper’s wife

bakes bread in outdoor clay oven


to feed guests crowding the table,

filling every room; no vacancy here.

Village streets over-taxed tonight with

dusty lineage of David’s descendants.


Oven fires cooled, bread crumbs swept,

visitors settled but someone’s knocking:

desperate husband with panting wife

begging for bed, nesting in barn; scene of


midnight moaning, blood-stained straw.

Newborn baby’s cry echoes in starlit night;

babe of Bethlehem is bread from heaven,

the Son of Man comes as manna to earth.


Grown into manhood, he fasts long yet

refuses devil’s ploy of leavened stones;

feeds crowd of five thousand on hillside,

blessing of bread fills baskets of leftovers.


He gathers disciples, breaks bread at table of

last supper together, they eat passover lamb;

who offers his body as bread upon a raised altar

to nourish gaunt souls, to feed the hungry world.