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Michael Smith ~ The Donut/Bread of Life


I wish Jesus described himself as the “donut of life” instead the “bread of life.” It just makes a little more sense that way. It would make my preaching easier too. That is what I want – I want a donut. We know that one does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God, so why not throw in some pastry goodness once in a while, God?

I live in a donut culture. It seems that we are no longer satisfied with that which daily satisfies unless it is sugared up. The majority of us are serving them right on up each and every Sunday.

Public confession time – I like donuts. I have traveled throughout the United States and Europe in search of the perfect donut. In each culture I tasted (along with a nice cup of coffee) simple and basic ingredients made up into the glorious thing we call the morning donut. By the way – the donut is like eating a piece of cake for breakfast, which is another one of my favorite things to do.  It was not on a snowy winter morning in Stockholm, or in a spring filled Paris coffee shop, or in Berlin’s smorgasbord of pastry shops that the best donut was found – oddly it is in the small bakery down the street from my childhood home. They don’t even have a place to sit down, let alone any sense of atmosphere – what they do have is phenomenal donuts. That is what they do and they do it well. They don’t want you hanging out all day getting in the way. Their whole vibe is get in, get your stuff, and get out because you are holding up the line.

A donut is quick and it is accessible. You eat it while you drive to work and hope not to spill the crème or junk in the middle down your shirt. Everyone at your office will judge you for being the person who couldn’t take two minutes to have a sensible breakfast and decided to be the dude who slurps donuts each morning. Welcome to Lazytown, we’ve been expecting you. But I just love donuts, don’t you? Once you taste it you know. It’s fresh, it’s good, and you want more of it.

Here is the problem: I can’t thrive on donuts. Sure, I might be able to survive but what kind of life is that? Donut in – donut energy out. An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but a donut a day – wait I just forgot what I was going to say because I fell asleep after my donut sugar crash. Jesus as the donut of life is appealing for us to sink our teeth into, to experience, and to believe in. The problem is that this Jesus leaves us with a similar sugar crash afterwards. The hard teachings or call of discipleship could leave a bad taste in our mouths.

Jesus does not give us the option for the donut of life. He talked about bread. Poor Jesus. I feel bad for him for not being able to experience the joy of donuts, but I guess that’s why he is so skinny and handsome in all of the paintings in my church. He is the bread, so we have to speak about the bread. Bread actually engages the body to produce the sugar that the body needs.

My father is going through a period in his life where he has to monitor his sugar and other stuff like that. For a period of time he gave up drinking beer and eating bread. I was shocked and amazed when he said the thing he missed the most was the bread. Who is this man and what have you done with my father? Sometimes we can take for granted the daily part of bread life. We understand how much we need it and miss it when it’s gone. Bread is actually more important than what we give it credit for. Just go to a restaurant with your pregnant spouse and watch their reaction if bread isn’t on the table in a jiffy. Bread is important.

God is in the midst of the normal – not just the fantastic, chocolate and sprinkled covered parts of life. God’s presence is made real when we take simple elements, like bread, and share it. This is why we should stick to what he invites us to do – offer the bread.