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Advent 2021: Cast Thy Bread Upon the Waters by Gladys Vaughn


"Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shalt find it after many days.”

-Ecclesiastes 11:1


10th Day After Christmas

January 4, 2022

Cast Thy Bread Upon the Waters

My mother was a schoolteacher, an orator, and a much sought-after speaker; she was also deeply spiritual, a devout Missionary Baptist. One of the speeches she was often asked to deliver was entitled: “Cast Thy Bread Upon the Waters.”

It took a long while for me to understand the meaning of those words. Growing up with dogs named ‘Patrasche” and “Mephisto” suggested to my child’s mind that I should ask. On learning that the title was taken from a verse in the bible, I was then driven to understand its deeper meaning, and hence the reason for the speech’s popularity.

Casting bread upon the waters and getting it back after many days, I learned, was figurative, not literal, speech. It signifies action--and represents unselfish work done every day in service to others. Work for the common good; give the best you have to give, letting your moral compass guide you; giving authentically.

“Casting bread” is symbolic of our actions; “waters” symbolizes our global society and the many problems that beset it. “Finding it after many days” represents those times in our lives when service we don’t remember comes back to us through a flower, message of thanks, or the social justice actions of others.


Much is required to cast bread: love, faith, courage, strength, authenticity, and collective effort. Why not start during Advent season? Amen

Sister Gladys Gary Vaughn, Ph.D

Chair, Daniel A. Payne Community Development Corporation


Advent 2021

Join us in a time of reflection, expectation, and contemplation during the season of Advent 2021.

Each day a new reflection with a scripture and prayer will be posted on the Metropolitan AME Church website and social media to encourage you to hear the words of those reflecting, anticipating, and contemplating with you in community as we thank God for what God has done, notice what God is actively doing and anticipate what God will do next.

Read along with us each day or download the book to read and write along with us offline.



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