Monday, April 19, 2010

We are Blessed With Bread

And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
1 Corinthians 11:24

On the night in which he was betrayed and given up to death, Jesus took bread and, as he had done so often, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to his disciples. He blessed it. Bread, one of the most basic of all God’s gifts and human creations, was blessed.

Before the bread, there had been seed, the thousands of seeds scattered across some hillside. The fields had been plowed. The rains watered. The soil had been fertilized and tilled and nurtured until the wheat was brought to full growth. Then it was harvested, gathered, and ground into flour. The flour was mixed with shortening, salt, yeast, and milk. It became batter, then dough; then the dough was kneaded and shaped into loaves where it was allowed to rise. Then it was baked. All of this–the soil, the farmer, the sower, the miller, the baker, the earthly, the corporeal, the commercial, the creaturely, the mundane stuff of everyday life–all of this was blessed.

All of this was claimed by Christ as part of the self-giving love of God. All of this became sacramental. Never again, after that blessing, can we look upon a field of grain or a loaf of Communion bread or a slice of breakfast toast in the same casual way we did before.

God is in all that, in the people who work with them, in the people who partake of them, in us. The bread might end up on the Lord’s table, being blessed as part of the Lord’s Supper. Even if it does not, Jesus has blessed it. "This is my body...for you," he has said (1 Cor. 11:24). For you. He took bread and blessed it . And thereby we are blessed.

(Willimon, William. 1981. Sunday Dinner: The Lord*s Supper and the Christian Life. Nashville, TN: The Upper Room., pgs 33-34)

1 comment:

  1. Wow. This makes me think also of our meals at home. Learning about all of the hands that helped bring our food to us is a lovely thought. It may also help me expand my gratitude in my prayers over the food from "please help this to nourish and strengthen." (I wonder who first used that phrase and how it became so universal...)