Several weeks ago, two friends and I had planned for the three of us to go out to dinner. The day turned out to be “one of those” draining days for all of us and the thought of going out to a restaurant full of people was not appealing. So, we decided to “stay in” and order pizza — comfort food. Eating pizza, we knew, was not the healthiest choice for late night eating and certainly not low-calorie. We were quite clear, at the end of that day we wanted comfort food. [We also took a few antacids to make sure the comfort remained throughout the night!]
Why do we eat what we eat? I would think that all of us have certain comfort foods, i.e. treats for ourselves when we deserve something for just our pleasure. Sometimes we eat certain things because of convenience — we do not have a lot of time and this choice is fast and easy. Some people eat a treat because they are stressed. Maybe we are eating a particular food because this is what we always eat for Christmas, Easter, an anniversary … it is our traditional food. At times we probably eat something to make someone else happy … it is not our preference, but if it makes them happy … we are willing to do it.
With that said, I ask: “why do you approach the communion table?” “What are you looking for today?” Why do you eat the bread of life and the cup of salvation?
In seminary days, we discussed the question: if a Martian landed in front of the church on a Sunday morning, walked in, saw people approaching the altar for communion, got in line, and received like everyone else — would they really receive Eucharist?
Perhaps there are people who go to the Lord’s Table/Supper without much thought, intentional choice, or a sense of WHY they are doing what they are doing.
My friends and I were clear why we were having pizza — not because of cost, not because of ease, but we wanted COMFORT FOOD.
Do I/you approach the Lord’s table this weekend looking for energy to make it through a tough time? Are you trying to make a decision and you believe that communion with Jesus will bring the wisdom you need to make a good choice? Are you hurting and looking for the consolation and comfort that comes from union with Jesus? Do you simply want to feel the presence of the Lord?
For those who lead worship: is this just “we do”? or is there a particular reason for consuming Eucharist this weekend?
As a sign of the eternal presence with us, Jesus chose food and drink. Like the manna in the desert, Jesus has given us food for the journey … He has given us Himself as our daily bread.
My mother use to talk about how she could spend hours preparing for a meal and then we would eat everything and then be ready to get up from the table in thirty minutes. Today, I know what she meant. Jesus gave himself, his life … and we can so casually enter into communion with Him.
What does this have to say about family meals? About eating in front of a tv on a tray?
Jesus has extended to us, once again, to come to HIS table and to share HIS life. Are we prepared to stay awhile and to share a meal, to dine with the Lord? Are we literally eating and running? Do we know why we have accepted the invitation or is this something we just do … like having Sunday morning donuts or pancakes?
Savor this moment … savor the divine food we share ….