Dakota McGrath – Student Worship Pastor
I’m just going to assume that we all love food in some way. I love eating, especially Chinese food; you will hardly ever hear me turn down Chinese food.
If you must know.. Orange chicken is my weakness…
Have you ever made plans with friends and they fall through?
Has your spouse or significant other had plans and you feel helpless to cook for yourself?
Have you ever been left on your own at home with no food in your refrigerator?
Some may rejoice at the idea of being alone, but for an extrovert like myself?
This happened to me this last week.
My wife, Danielle, had a get together with some of the other girls from our 923 ministry (shameless plug…. 18-29 year olds, 923 is just for you and launches at our Gilbert and Glendale campuses on August 18th), and I was at home with no plans and no food; unless you count dog food for a Golden Retriever, but I have my standards. So I get in my car and head to my favorite Chinese restaurant. As I pull up to the restaurant, I find a parking spot, put my car in park and then begin to think to myself, “am I really going to sit in a restaurant by myself?” For some reason I could not get myself to go spend $10 for my dearly loved orange chicken and eat it alone. So what did I do? Most young people are too familiar with these next words I’m about to say… Taco Bell. That’s right, I went to Taco Bell (no hate here) and took it home to enjoy with me, myself and I.
As I sat there alone with my dog begging for my chalupa, I was reminded that there is something sacred about sharing a meal with someone (not my dog, to clarify). If you think about it, why do we all gather together for a designated time to break bread with one another? Because it’s so common to eat together, to us, it’s just food, it’s just a meal, it’s just another receipt or bill.
Life moves so fast that many of us miss the divine presence in all of life. When we receive that bill or receipt, it’s just a bill; but it’s so much more than that.
The early Christians had this amazing tradition called “Eucharist,” now you would hear people call it Communion or The Lord’s Supper. They would gather around a table, then they would put some bread and wine on that table and eat.
In this tradition, the bread and wine are sacred.
Because all bread and wine is sacred.
Because all of life is sacred.
The heart of Eucharist was to remember this.
It’s a meal, but it’s not just a meal.
It’s a conversation, but it’s not just a conversation.
Now, I may not endorse Taco Bell nutritionally; however, breaking bread (or tacos) with someone is much more than just that. To break bread together is to remember that God is present in all of life, to reconnect with Christ in the common. The writer of Ecclesiastes says that “…people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.”
The next time we get our receipt, may we remember that there is so much more going on here.
May we remember that God has provided.
May we celebrate life shared together.
May we reconnect with Christ in the common.
It’s just a receipt, but it’s so much more than a receipt.