Break Thou the Bread of Life

1
Break Thou the Bread of Life,
  Dear Lord, to me,
As Thou didst break the loaves
  Beside the sea;
Beyond the sacred page
  I seek Thee, Lord;
My spirit pants for Thee,
  O Living Word.
2
Thou art the Bread of Life,
  O Lord, to me,
Thy holy Word the truth
  That saveth me;
Give me to eat and live
  With Thee above;
Teach me to love Thy truth,
  For Thou art Love.
3
Oh, send Thy Spirit, Lord,
  Now unto me,
That He may touch my eyes,
  And make me see;
Show me the truth concealed
  Within Thy Word,
And in Thy Book revealed
  I see the Lord.
4
Bless Thou the truth, dear Lord,
  To me, to me,
As Thou didst bless the bread
  By Galilee;
Then shall all bondage cease,
  All fetters fall,
And I shall find my peace,
  My All in all.
17
Anonymous

I have sung this song for years but it only got a hold of me last Sunday(02-12-18) especially the last stanza and I am still basking in its glory: like my eyes just opened to see it. Is this the same song I have been singing unconsciously all these years... I pray it never leaves me!


Nancy Willey

Fresno, CA, United States

I woke up this morning with some of the words to this song going through my mind. So happy I was able to find it here and so blessed to see in the comments that several others have been awakened in a similar way.


Naomi Hanna

Hallandale Beach, Florida, United States

Love this Communion hymn. God bless!


Leigh Powell

United Kingdom

This hymn, often sung in communion services, reminds me of John's gospel where Jesus said 'I am the bread of life'. While Jesus's body was crucified on the cross, he bore away the sins of the world.

if we repent of our sins and believe the gospel, we shall be saved and born again (1 Peter 1, 53 verse 1), and thus go to Heaven.


Steve Miller

Detroit, MI, United States

@Momoko Feb 17, 2018,

The Lord first blessed the loaves and then broke them, but the song has "break" in the first verse and "bless" in the last, so you have a good question. I think it is because v1 is about the bread of life, which the Lord both blessed and broke so we can eat it. So either word, "blessed" or "broke", would work in v1.

The last verse is about the truth, and it would be strange to say "break the truth". The word of truth needs to be rightly divided, which is symbolized by the breaking of the bread, but to say "break the truth" would give the wrong meaning. So only "bless", not "break", works in the last verse. Since the last verse must use the word "bless" it would be better to use the word "break" in the 1st verse to cover both actions that the Lord did.

"Loaves" to "bread" and "sea" to "Galilee" are just 2 ways of saying the same thing. In writing it is good to use a different word when repeating a thought to give more meaning. The Bible, especially the Old Testament, does that a lot.


Momoko

Oslo, Norway

I want to know why 1 " break the loaves by the sea" and the last one says " break the BREAD by Galilee" .

Why from "break" to bless,

why from loaves to bread,

why from sea to Galilee???

Who can explain these ??


Donald Ketcham

Lancaster, CA, United States

This brought tears to my eyes as I read and sang along. So many memories from my youth in a little Reformed church in upstate New York. My mother was the organist and she played this often for preludes, postludes and more. Thank You Lord for this great hymn.


Anne McNabb

Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand

I to started singing these words this morning and was pleased to find the verses I had forgotten.This was one of my favourites as a child.


Lucinda Rolle

Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas

When I got up today, the Holy Spirit simply dropped the words of “Break thou the bread of life, Dear Lord to me”. I had not heard this song for decades. I could not remember the words.

I am so glad that I located the words of a hymn that speaks directly to me at the right time. I thank Almighty God for this wonderful hymn.


Anonymous

Georgia, United States

Thank You Lord that we can seek You beyond the sacred page!

The first stanza of Hymns, #806 reads, "Break Thou the Bread of Life, / Dear Lord, to me, / As Thou didst break the loaves / Beside the sea; / Beyond the sacred page / I seek Thee, Lord; / My spirit pants for Thee, / O Living Word." This hymn may have been written by the Brethren because it contains types and figures. For instance, stanza 1 says, "Break Thou the Bread of Life, / Dear Lord, to me; / As Thou didst break the loaves / Beside the sea." Stanza 4 says, "Bless Thou the truth, dear Lord, / To me, to me, / As Thou didst bless the bread / By Galilee." This kind of imagery is similar to what can be found in Brethren hymns. This hymn contains a crucial point that shows the kind of person we should be and the kind of attitude and desire we should have, if we desire to seek the word of the Lord.

This hymn also shows that the writer was not seeking mere biblical doctrine but the Lord Himself. Hence, the second half of stanza 1 reads, "Beyond the sacred page / I seek Thee, Lord; / My spirit pants for Thee, / O Living Word." Then the second half of stanza 3 says, "Show me the truth concealed / Within Thy Word, / And in Thy Book revealed / I see the Lord." The author of this hymn was not seeking doctrines but the Lord Himself in the Word.

Stanza 4 reads, "Bless Thou the truth, dear Lord, / To me, to me, / As Thou didst bless the bread / By Galilee; / Then shall all bondage cease, / All fetters fall, / And I shall find my peace, / My All in all." Everyone who seeks to prophesy, who seeks the Lord's word, should learn of the spirit and attitude demonstrated in this hymn. We need to see that we are not seeking the truth as doctrine or as letter. Instead, we are seeking the Lord of reality, the Lord Himself.