Let Us Break Bread Together

Larry Trapp joined the KKK in 1988
Spoke violence to his neighbors, made them his enemies, and spread hate
But hate abates where love awaits and creates
The kind of meal a Jewish man dished out on paper plates
Rabbi Michael Weisser heard the threatening calls on his phone
Called Larry Trapp back and with love in his voice asked, “Can I come to your home?”
Brought carry-out fried chicken, said, “Brother, you don’t have to go it alone”
And about a month later, helped Larry chuck the Klan stuff he owned
Jesus knew the power of a meal, power to heal, how it could make you feel
Not just good food, but sitting down, sharing space, being real
Being together, whether brothers and sisters or enemies
That’s a love we can live for, that’s what love is meant to be

Let us break bread together on our knees
Let us break bread together on our knees
And when you and I don’t see eye to eye, we disagree
Let us break bread together on our knees

Do you remember the story of Zaccheus?
Little dude, heard about this cat Jesus, said “gotta see to believe this”
Some facts about Zac, he collected tax, had a lyin’, cheatin’ knack, for snatching people’s fat stacks
But when he sat down with Jesus, had a change of heart and gave the cash back
Jesus knew how to love the enemy though it had to be hard
Broke bread, looked through the hate, saw the very face of God
When I was a kid growing up my mom was a pastor
And some kids at school said “that’s a disaster, like Shasty McNasta,
A woman tryin’ to teach and preach? She’s going to get to hell faster,”
Just because you are a woman, mom? That don’t sound right, so I asked her
“Why would people not want you to serve God in the church?
Seems like they got their stuff all backwards, and they’re acting like jerks!”
Momma said, “these people are our brothers and sisters,
They just read the Bible different
Like Grace, the woman who says I shouldn’t be in the pulpit every time I visit
Grace loves God, Grace loves the church, loves being in it
She’s a feisty lady, and it’s hard, but I keep going and I love her every minute
When we get to heaven, we’re going have a reunion
And I’m looking forward to once again serving Grace at communion”

Let us break bread together on our knees
Let us break bread together on our knees
And when you and I don’t see eye to eye, we disagree
Let us break bread together on our knees

There was once a Michigan farmer named Ned
He got punched in the head so hard he almost bled to the point of being dead
Cops said, “Could you identify the punks before they fled?”
But Ned could not, because they hopped back into their car and away they sped
For four years he and his family wondered who had hit them
Ned realized his whole community had become the victim, they want to pitch in
Some of his brothers in the church wanted break skin in retaliation
Ned wanted to reconcile, but he had wait a while and be patient
Let’s make this long story short, get to the forgiveness
Four years later Ned meets the kids, forgives, gives love, is a witness
He even hosts a wedding for his attackers and he officiates
How about that for a story of love overcoming hate?
But hold on, it gets better, there’s a letter that comes from an aunt and it can’t be skipped
Because it just ties it all together, like a ribbon on a gift
She says, “The fact that you opened your home to them after what was done to you
Made a huge impact on the way the whole family views Christians.
“So many times they only see hypocrisy
But you have truly turned the other cheek, lived what you believe
Seeing Jesus in you may be the only Jesus they ever see
God’s love to you, and God’s peace”
Isn’t that it? Isn’t that love? Isn’t this how we want to be when the world sees us?
Love your enemies and you can show the world Jesus

Let us break bread together on our knees
Let us break bread together on our knees
And when you and I don’t see eye to eye, we disagree
Let us break bread together on our knees



“This song was birthed as an entry for the Anabaptist Songwriting Challenge, which I'll go on record as saying I think was misnamed. It turns out that they were looking for congregational singing, and a congregation singing song this is not. I am glad I didn't understand the criteria though, because I'm pleased with the result here. In this song we have part of an African American spiritual that serves as the chorus, and then each of the verses tells the true story of someone who ‘broke bread’ in the figurative sense with someone who the world might consider an enemy. Two of the stories came from a collection of stories called Hope Indeed!, edited by Gerald Shenk and published by Good Publishing. The stories of Rabbi Michael Weisser and a Michigan farmer named Ned are small stories of big actions that I think speak volumes about the transformative power of actually loving an enemy. My verses give you a sort of cursory summary, but both stories are worth checking out and reading in full.

I got permission to write about my mother, who has modeled breaking bread together for me my whole life. She said that the verse was ‘true enough,’ or something to that effect, and that's all I'll say about it, too. Except I will say again publicly how proud I am of my mother and her willingness to follow God's call, especially when it wasn't popular or easy or fun or enjoyable or safe. Love you, Mom.” - Greg

“Loving God and neighbor are two of the most esteemed instructions in both Hebrew Scripture and the New Testament. The call to love beyond those who love us is the call to following Jesus. Yet time and time again we fail to love our enemies with the love of Jesus... we even fail to even love each other within the church when we don't see perfectly eye to eye.

The stories in this song, as Greg articulates them, hold up example of individuals who chose to love in the face of disagreement, hatred, and violence. They poignantly offer a window into the lives of folks chose to love their enemies. 

When I first heard Let Us Break Bread, we were on tour in Ohio. I was so moved that I broke down completely, and sobbed. It was such a blessing to hear stories of hope, love and forgiveness.

‘When you and I don't see eye to eye... let us break bread together on our knees.’

In sitting down to physically and spiritually break bread together with each other especially when we are tempted to hate... we open ourselves up to the power of the Holy Spirit to move, transform, and bring healing and hope in the midst of brokenness and despair.   Truly, this is Good News, that God has loved us, and can empower us to love each other (enemies included). Let us draw near, come to the table together, and be transformed.” - Seth

Michael – Harmony Vocals; Rachel – Harmony Vocals; Adam – Banjo, Lead Vocals (Chorus); Greg – Rap vocals, Hammond C3 Organ, Piano; Seth – Cajon, Harmony Vocals, Hammond C3 Organ; Kristina – Violin, Harmony Vocals; Jackson – Bass, Harmony Vocals, Misc. Percussion;

African American spiritual, arr. Gregory J. Yoder, 2015 with verses by Gregory J. Yoder, 2015