“Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He said 'take this and share it among yourselves. For I tell you, from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.' And He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and said 'This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.' In the same way He also took the cup after supper and said 'This cup is the new covenant established by My blood; it is shed for you...” (Luke 22:17-20)
I believe strongly in the power of coming to the table, partaking of the elements, and sharing food together in general. There's something about food that brings people together in the most profound way. When food is shared, there's a common ground that is created between people...it's a humbling thing. It reminds us that at our core we're all living-organisms in need of food for survival. At the base-level, food is sustenance. There are so many other factors that make food incredible, but it has been this base-level idea that has really resonated with me lately.
I was watching a video a couple of days ago that talked about a black couple who visited an all-white episcopal church during the civil rights era. It described how the wife went up to receive the elements and to her reluctant husband's surprise, the priest stared into the woman's eyes before handing her the communal cup and said the same words he shared with every other person:
"Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Drink this in remembrance that Christ's blood was shed for thee."
The couple realized there was something powerful here that they wanted to be a part of. If these simple elements could bring a kind of profound unity, they wanted in.
One of my favorite things has become sharing food with others, especially people who I might not agree with on everything. I'm a part of a pretty tight group of poor college students/twenty-somethings. If one of us has an excess of bread or fruit, we'll send out a group text and let the others know. Then we'll meet up and exchange some food. Sometimes a few of us will all gather at one house and cook dinner with the food we've all pooled together. It's normally a stew of sorts with all kinds of crazy, random ingredients.
We really do enjoy being able to meet each others needs in this way. Some of these friends come from different backgrounds than I do. Some have different views on life and what it means to follow Jesus. Some are on the completely opposite end of the political spectrum than I am.
...but when we're sharing food with one another, none of that matters.
Food acts as an equalizer.
In a corny, but beautiful way, this simple exchanging of food and eating of eclectic stews has become like partaking of the elements for me.
It's helped me remember that life isn't about trying to figure out who's right and who's wrong, about what we aught or aught not to do, but instead, it's about receiving from the Father, enjoying Him, and allowing what lands in our hands to pass right through, into the hands of others.