『 Breaking Bread Together 』
In ministry, you often need to bring something other than just teaching. Music, maybe graphic design, or a gift at emotionally connecting with people. I can do none of those things, so instead I cook. Cookies, bars, cakes, whole meals – Sometimes I feel more like a chef than a chaplain.
It got me thinking about my family growing up. People are often surprised to find that I am the least good cook in the family. When I was growing up, my parents made it a rule that we would eat together. This made food a centerpiece of many family memories and traditions.
Mom’s Christmas Eve enchiladas, Sam’s Christmas morning croissants, Grandma Lossing’s stuffing and potato salad, Grandma Carnesecca’s BBQ chicken, Ernest and Angelica’s risotto, Mary Nakamura’s teriyaki. Each has stories to tell.
But those family meals were never simply about food. When you eat together you share closeness, you look each other in the face, hear one another’s stories – you break bread together. Those meals and moments keep the pace of life. They mark the receipt and sharing of grace. They remind us that the most mundane things can be the most profound sources of blessing, rippling out and overflowing. They can bind us together in communities of love, care, and compassion. And that is by design.
It is no mistake that some of our Lord’s most intimate moments centered on food and eating together. It was over a meal that Jesus gifted us the ritual of communion on the night before his death. It was over a meal that he restored Peter after his denial and great shame. It was at meals that he ministered to the sinful and the broken.
This week, look anew at the normal, everyday things of life and think again about how God has made them a blessing and a way to bless. Don’t overlook the simple gifts, because God’s gifts are always fit for purpose. And find someone with whom you can sit down, face-to-face, and break bread.