The question was asked, “If you only could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?”
His answer was as quick and deliberate as a gavel rap. “No question about it, turkey sandwich.”
I was thinking about the Bible, the Lord’s Table and the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer’s petition to g-d after the Eucharist…
Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted us as living members of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have fed us with spiritual food in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood. Send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The entire Breaking of the Bread is washed over with edible language…
Alleluia. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. The gifts of God for the People of God. Take them in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on him in your hearts by faith, with thanksgiving.
The Body of Christ, the bread of heaven.
The Blood of Christ, the cup of salvation.
I love the sacrament of the Lord’s Table. I believe the metaphor of food and drink are wonderfully confusing – eat Jesus’ body? drink Jesus’ blood?
It is like this: It is like when you drop your new ice cream cone on the ground. You want to pick it up and eat it but – yuck! Now this heavenly Jesus is defiled by a crash to earth. Pick it up, eat it. Fortunately our symbols are quite edible: good bread and wine (or lame grape juice in Lakeland’s case). Earthly EDIBLE food of heaven is very intentional. We are supposed to think, “Hey, it’s only bread and wine. Don’t try and tell me it’s Jesus’ actual body and blood.” Of course it isn’t real body and blood. But what if we are eating “grace” or “the presence of Jesus”? The right perspective is not‘Jesus’ body and blood is here in the bread and wine,’ but rather ‘food is spiritual’ — if a shared meal with good friends is more than mere food – it is social, then food is spiritual, yes? The raw symbol becomes bigger than its self. Therefore, it is NOT just bread and wine.
How tangible, how earthy, how human and yet transcendent – how mystical. Body and Blood: take, eat.
Now for the other Communion Food: The Bible. The Bible is not a sacrament of the church, but it is a sacred food — our only food, no question about it. Eat this book. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be? The Bible.
Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long… How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Psalm 119:97,103)
Beyond inspiration and “infallibility” (and certainly beyond ‘inerrancy’) the Bible is like food for the soul. When I used to hear “Thy word is sweeter than honey” I thought, “I dunno – it’s just a bunch of morals, character qualities – boring.” Now I think of the Bible as story and a conversation with g-d. I read it like I read The Hobbit. I want to figure out how it ends up where it ends up.
It’s food to me. Daily we eat it, digest it, build the body with it. Real Food, Real Drink – like bread and wine, the Bible is food for the soul.
Take the little book and eat it – Revelation of John, 10:9
Sometimes delicious, sometimes bitter, the Bible speaks into our complex//basic lives. Consume it, feast on it, drink it down, like the Lord’s Table, the one Meal.