“Whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup…”
The breaking of bread together is and expression of our shared life in Christ. We are the body of Jesus, gathered and scattered, and when two or three of us gather we are particularly conscious of His resurrected presence. In coming together around a table we are powerfully reminded of our shared lives, the ways we have met one another’s broken needs, ministered healing to one another, stood by each other in encouragement and sympathy, met each other’s needs, carried one another’s burdens etc. When we feed one another at His table we remind ourselves that Christianity is not a solo spiritual journey, but a community of those who are being saved from the powers.
The openness of the table reminds us that we are not simply helping out our friends in some holy-huddle, but expressing the new creation, to which the whole world is invited, and especially those who seem uninvited by those outside the table who puff themselves up out of all proportion. There is no place for grandeur at the table of the King of Kings! The absence of any lords and leaders reminds us that we are all children of same Father, all sharing in the one loaf. The bear hug, arm-pat or gentle smile of recognition from each other as we eat assures us that we are known and accepted for who we are, both in the community of faith and ultimately by God.
The aroma of freshly baked bread fills our imagination with the joys of the age to come, and the crumbs that scatter remind us of the bounteous provision of God to every mouse or sparrow who prays “give us this day…”. The warming hit of alcohol alters our senses, alerting us to the transformation of all things, that goes on by the grace of God working its way into our whole perceptions. The armfuls of leftover wine and bread that we share in the park with the homeless remind us of the astonishing generosity of God.
It is a feast for the soul and the senses, there is so much to take in that we can hardly hope to encompass 1% of it in our meagre minds, and yet over time, as we grow in love for our King and his upside-down kingdom our imagination becomes bigger and more able to contain “the riches of his grace”.