Monday, September 10, 2007

discuss amongst yourselves - part deux

the post i was hoping to do today will have to wait as i have been asked to make an emergency run to "the big city" airport to pick up a couple who didn't make their connector flight yesterday. this "how is jesus like bread" thing is holding me tight and will not let go.

i was honored yesterday to be a part of our communion service at church, impromtu as the woman who bakes the bread got her wires crossed and showed up with the lovely homemade loaves yesterday instead of next week. i was able to stand in front of the congreation and offer the body of christ broken for you to each who came forward. this is unfolding so beautifully for me.

i want to share some things left in the comments to spur on more thoughts (please participate - any and all thoughts, even weird or negative ones will help me here) on this subject. i know this is a lot bigger for me than just communion - and it's working it's way into so many areas of my life - so even the most random thought might be a missing link in this process, so please (PLEASE) comment away.

here's what sarah louise had to say:
I remember in college being at a party and a guy was dressed up and his costume was saying how Christians are vampires because they drink Jesus' blood and eat his flesh. I will never forget that, til the day I die.

When I was Catholic (for about a year) I couldn't get past that the bread "really" was Jesus. I prefer the Presbyterian view that it's "in memory of Him" but that it brings us closer in communion with Him.
and brother tadhg:
Interestingly, in current Jewish passover feasts, bread is broken in three and the second portion is hidden until a ransom is paid or it is discovered by the least in the family - which for believers symbolises the 2nd person of the trinity once hidden and now revealed.
and erin writes:
-bread seems to be one food that has been common in all cultures. Ever present. Nourishing. Sustaining.
-thinking of bread broken, I tend to think of the first breaking: of wheat broken to make flour. Makes me think of what it may have been like for Jesus to take human form.
-this may be stretching things, but I think of Jesus as Whole Wheat or a really dark Rye. Broken, but not lesser. We want a sliced White Bread Jesus. Easy to digest, flavourless really, but convenient.
thanks each of you who participated, this has helped me a lot - and i won't be able to really post on this until at least wednesday, probably thursday - so i've got a long trip in the car today, and days to keep thinking about it - so please add your thoughts!


Sarah Louise said...

Hmmm--I bet He Who Knows All was part of the "impromptu" communion as you work through this. I love it when God does stuff like that!!

In Jewish tradition, everyday practice is to break the bread before the meal prayer.

I can't help but thinking about the holocaust children who were given a piece of bread to hold while they slept--I know you blogged on that a while back and have a book that talks about that.

I like Erin's thoughts about Jesus being a brown bread, not sliced. At our church, the bread is broken and then we pull off pieces and dip them in the wine. While not as communal as drinking off the same chalice, it is more communal in my mind than those little plastic cups , and as we each go forward in our own time, it allows us our own comtemplation "space."

I think it is good for all of us to consider and contemplate the bread of Life, thank you bobbie for bringing it forward.

I hope your week is restful in its busyness--that in moments here and there you can rest in Him.

Shalom, my dear sister, shalom!

Steve F. said...

OK, I started to comment, and I got thinking, and I got writing...

...and OK, so it ended up another epistle, instead of a comment. Big damn surprise there, eh?...

It's over here, if you've a mind to check it out. Thanks for making me think about it...thanks for bringing up some beautiful memories.

wilsonian said...

One more thought...

'Aysh' is the Arabic work for both bread and life.

Patchouli said...

I sat at my keyboard for a long time, thinking about that question. Christ as bread--it reminds me of manna in the desert. Pure, daily, just right to nourish us--and we have taken that and turned it into "Wonder Bread" filling, but without the nourishment.

I want manna from Heaven.

An impromptu communion service-how perfect is that?

Sarah Louise said...

oh, i like the manna idea. Which is part of why some Catholics go to daily mass every single day, because the Eucharist is the everything, and if you go every day, you get it every day.

Ironically, I became a Catholic so I could take Eucharist and I don't really remember those times as "wow, so glad I became a Catholic." Of course, by that point, I wasn't going to daily Mass because I'd moved geographically, etc.

I really enjoyed Steve's post--thanks for that, Steve!

I had another thought but I truly have lost it. So here are two scattered ones: The whole thing in Isaiah 55 "why do you spend your money on that which is not bread? Come, eat, drink, with out paying." and then Jesus saying to his disciples (was it after he talked to the woman at the well) and he hadn't eaten and he said, doing the will of my Father is what feeds me (huge paraphrase).

bobbie, thank you for bringing this up--it is so wonderful connecting with you and others on this thought--this is blogging at its best.

One more thought: at the OD, communion was on the 2nd sunday, when we have our community dinner. But this month we had communion on the 1st Sunday (which meant I had it twice, having gone to Bellefield in the morning) but it also brings it back to our community, as so often we bring guests to the community dinner and BJ and others too were thinking--we've invited these people and they don't really understand or get what we're doing with the communion thing.

I remember as a non-Catholic watching everyone go up for Eucharist (and one woman with a child on each hip) how I longed to do that. And then I became a Catholic and was a little like Peggy Lee ("Is that all there is?")

I like taking communion where people know me by name and say, Sarah Louise, the body of Christ, broken for you. Sarah Louise, the blood of Christ, shed for you.

Oh, I know the other thought--you really got me going on this! As one who can't really fast b/c I take meds 4 times a day, the whole thing of not eating an hour before Mass didn't really work for me. (And I know there is a dispensation for folks over a certain age or that take meds, but I am really so much happier being a Presbyterian.)

Shalom. I hope your week evens out and you can rest in the midst of your tasks.