Break Thou the Bread of Life

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Mary Lathbury was a successful artist, writer, and teacher. She was also a lifelong Christian. Born on this day in 1841 in Manchester, New York, her father and two brothers all were ministers.

Mary’s passion for education and Christianity helped inspire her interest in a camp that was founded near Lake Chautauqua in upstate New York. This became a center for Bible study and Sunday school training. There Mary served as an assistant to John Vincent, who started the camp.

In 1877, Vincent asked her to write a hymn to aid in their correspondence courses. Mary called the hymn, “Break Thou the Bread of Life,” inspired by the example of Jesus feeding the multitudes (Matthew 14:13-21).

This hymn celebrated Jesus as the bread of life. Mary prayed, “Break Thou the bread of life, dear Lord, to me, as Thou didst break the loaves beside the sea.” She sought Jesus “beyond the sacred page,” crying “my spirit pants for Thee, O living Word!”

Perhaps thinking about Lake Chautauqua, she seemed to picture Jesus sitting by the sea, asking Him, “Bless Thou the truth…as Thou didst bless the bread by Galilee.” Great peace and freedom she would enjoy: “Then shall all bondage cease.”

Mary knew we need supernatural wisdom to grasp the truths in the Word, so she prayed, “O send Thy Spirit, Lord, now unto me, that He may touch my eyes, and make me see.” She knew there was more to learn, praying, “Show me the truth concealed within Thy Word.”

Today, remember that Jesus is your bread of life. Hunger to know Him more. Ask Him to open up more of His truth to you. And make His Word the foundation of your life.