40 Days of Blogging: Bread or Beer? Or Bozhe?!

Today’s topic is “bread or beer”?  I’m writing from Constantinople (Istanbul), a country that was once the heart of a vibrant Christian empire… but is now 99% Mulim.  It’s a shock.  But I’ve seen it before even in my lifetime: so many Christian youth give up their baptismal garment to pursue demonic idols (“the gods of the nations are idols/demons” says the prophet!).  In America, the idol is often the pursuit of satiety and pleasure (or numbness).  And they do this – causing themselves, their families, their communities, and their nation – while the True God is always their offering The Better Way.  This choice can be symbolized in the choice of Bread or Beer or… Bozhe (the Ukrainian familiar for “God”)?

  • Bread.  Mankind’s cultivation of grain – and the making of cheap (but nutriciously dubious) bread allowed for tremendous and rapid growth.  Mankind’s need for food was satisfied by a poor substitute for real food.  At the same time, his need for spiritual food was also being satisfied by a poor substitute for Orthodox worship of the Uncreated God.  The people ate… but were not satisified.
  • Beer.  Bad food can lead to dissatisfaction.  Eventually, people realize might see the damage the empty calories are doing to their bodies.  They might strive for something more.  Something that the current system could not provide.  And so the idolotrous culture found a way to deaden such an epiphany: beer.  And so the people drank, and many forgot their dissatisfaction for a while.
  • Bozhe.  It is no great exageration to say that grain the cultivation of grain was created for one purpose: to become the Bread from Heaven that is the Body of the Incarnate God.  This is the one bread that the people can eat and be satisfied, just as the worship of Him is the one kind of worship that is real and useful.  Combine the two – in the Orthodox Divine Liturgy – and you have The One Thing Needful.  And it is available throughout the world through the local Orthodox parish.