The 20th of August might not be a significant date in Scotland, or in the UK but for Hungarians it is a very important date. Here it is why.

The 20th of August is St Stephen’s Day in Hungary, the feast of the nation’s first Christian king. Traditionally the first baking from the freshly harvested wheat happened on or after St Stephen’s Day. Throughout the centuries the date became strongly associated with the establishing of the Christian Kingdom of Hungary and New Bread, and harvest thanksgiving.

We don’t know details of the circumstances of his conversion, but it seems that King Stephen firmly believed that if there is going to be survival for his nation and state in Europe that is possible only under the cross of Jesus Christ. One might say that he tasted and saw that the LORD was good and blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him (Psalm 34:8). Jesus was the bread of life for him, and he offered that bread to his nation. He personally took refuge in the Lord and brought his people to Him to seek refuge and life eternal in Jesus Christ. Jesus said that His is the living bread that came down from heaven, and whoever eats of this bread will live for ever (John 6:51).

We might take it for granted that we have bread on our table, new or old, we might find it normal that we personally have a Christian heritage, confessing ourselves Christians and are part of the church. However, take a moment and give thanks for those who introduced you to Jesus as Saviour and Lord, who offered you a taste of the living bread He is. And while you are it, give thanks for those who brought the Gospel of Jesus Christ to these shores! Give thanks to the living Lord Jesus that he is the Bread of Life, and He freely offers himself and his forgiveness of sins and eternal life to all who come to him and believe in him.

I’m not inviting you to celebrate St Stephen’s Day, or New Bread, but I am inviting you to come to taste and see that the Lord is good and give thanks to Him for the forgiveness and the life he offers you. And I am inviting you to share the Living Bread with others, who hunger and thirst for righteousness, forgiveness and hope!

[from GV]

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