“There is a communion of more than our bodies when bread is broken and wine is drunk.”
One of the pillars of Jesus' ministry was the shared meal. They were gathered for the passover meal when he said goodbye to his disciples. He did so by blessing the bread and wine and passing them around the table. As they ate and drank, Jesus explained that he would be leaving them shortly, but in future, they could honor him by sharing a meal in his remembrance. Blessing the bread and wine is steeped in Hebrew tradition. These prayers are still said today:
“Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth.”
“Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine.”
When we share a meal, it is a form of communion no matter what our religion, or lack thereof. Sharing food is a holy endeavor, full of historical significance, and deeply spiritual. It is a way of providing for one another in the truest sense. Blessing the broken bread is a symbolic way of blessing our own brokenness. Of acknowledging that it is in that very brokenness that we are most blessed, since that is where the Divine meets us.
This week, as we celebrate the Thanksgiving meal, or for that matter, any shared meal, remember this: Jesus ate with everybody, with anybody who happened to be there. He fed the thousands, he broke and blessed fishes and loaves, and fed their bodies as well of their souls. He did not cast out the alien, or refuse food to the gentile, or use his power and influence to deprive others of sustenance. Just as the Native people of this country shared food with the invading settlers, let us go and do likewise.
In the Spirit,