THE BREAD OF ANGELS
2. You are the heart of laughter, the beauty we're all after,
the perfect joy in every dream, you are the bread of angels.
In the desert they defied you,
they protested, they complained, “Give us banquets, keep us happy, entertained.”
3. Can any book contain you? No system can explain you. How can a myst'ry be defined? You are the bread of angels.
4. But here you are before us —
to comfort and restore us.
With heaven's host we praise and sing: you are the bread of angels.
We are hungry in our desert.
You can give us what we need — you alone are satisfaction guaranteed.
5. Compassion is your nature — no gift was ever greater.
Your blood and body feed us all, you are the bread of angels. (repeat last 2 lines)
For the August student service we had chosen the theme from Psalm 78:25 “They ate the bread of angels; he sent them all the food they could eat.” The gospel for the day was John 6:24-35, focusing on “the bread of life, the true bread from heaven”. Through cross referencing in my Jerusalem Bible I was led to Wisdom 16:20-29, and the central theme of the song emerged: “You gave them the food of angels, from heaven untiringly sending them bread already prepared, containing every delight, satisfying every taste. And the substance you gave demonstrated your sweetness towards your children...... so that your children, Lord, might learn that the various crops are not what nourishes humankind, but your word which preserves all who trust in you.” Not a quick song, it required a fair bit of editorial assistance from Dorothy. She suggested one note change in the last line of the verse which picked up the melody considerably. She was also unimpressed with some of the words I had. Only verse 5 remained unscathed. Pastor Bob Kempe was the chief culprit behind the theme of this verse — he preached on 'The Compassion of God' (Mark 6:30-34) the week before. The musical beginnings of the song — it's structure and overall style — started to develop after I heard Dylan's 'Knocking on heaven's door', though it's hard to see a connection in the final result. Dorothy and I both detected a borrowing from an old hymn we both like 'Now rest beneath night's shadow'. Dorothy's dad (& most of his Australian Lutheran contemporaries) always used verse 4 of the hymn after baptisms: “...let angel guards sing o'er me: this child of God shall meet no harm.”
Last Monday, November 19, I got back home after a 4 week trip, mostly in Queensland.Only possible because of
He's been my driver for the past 7½ years, for trips to Victoria, ACT, NSW and Queensland. He likes to label himself as 'Ray the Roadie', but he's a lot more than that. For the churches & schools I've sung at, we both set up the sound gear - the amps, guitars et al. He then retires to a back seat, while I sing & play. Afterwards, at schools, we take the gear down together. But at churches, he looks after the gear, while I talk with people & sell CDs & books. We get to stay with people most places , & we both love meeting people, enjoying their terrific hospitality.
This trip was his swan-song. I know he's enjoyed the driving & meeting people, but I still don't know how to say thank you. In his modest, self deprecating way, he'd reject the label of 'Servant of Christ', but he's been that for me, & together we've been able to serve people in many places.