Both Kinds of Bread

Posted by Phil Altmeyer, Executive Director Nov 1, 2014 11:50:53 AM

The word “bread” is often used as a synonym for sustenance. “Bread and water” describe the bare minimum given to prisoners in dungeons of old. The manna that kept the Israelites alive in the desert after they left Egypt was called “bread from heaven.” When Jesus fed the 5,000, he started with five loaves of bread and two fish. Bread, relatively easy and inexpensive to make, is considered a mainstay of the human diet, the “staff of life.”

Phil serving lunch small-1With this idea in mind, consider Jesus’ words in John 6: “I am the bread of life.” Jesus is the mainstay, the sustenance without which we cannot really live.

Here at the Union Gospel Mission, we seek to hold two important Scriptural truths in balance: The first is represented by this verse from James 2:

“If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?”

Because of your generous support, UGM shelters provide lodging, warmth and food to over 300 people a night. Your gifts allow our homeless guests to experience the love of Christ in tangible ways. That’s why we often say, “It all starts with a meal.”

However, it doesn’t end there. Jesus expresses the second truth in Matthew 4 when he quotes a passage from the Old Testament: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

From day one, the Union Gospel Mission has sought to provide both physical and spiritual bread. Our founder, Albert Arend, put it like this: You can give a guy a change of clothing, a warm shower, a hot meal and a bed, and he’s still the same guy that walked through the doors in the first place. We want him to leave here changed. This will always be our distinctive, and it is what keeps us from accepting government funding. We want the freedom to reach the poor with the love and power of the gospel.

Jesus fed His followers both physically and spiritually. We are committed to doing the same. Thank you for partnering with us.

“For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” – John 6:33

Topics: Core Values, Recovery, donations, Rescue, gospel, Heart to Heart, Phil Altmeyer, spiritual needs, physical needs, starts with a meal

Click here to see all articles for the November 2014 issue.


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