Brooding On

Becoming Family

For the entirety of the summer, our family has been blessed to partake in our church's new breakfast ministry.  Our church is small, and the only time we meet together is at 11:00 on Sunday morning.  As you can imagine, that makes it difficult to fellowship as a body.  To change all that, we decided to share breakfast every Sunday morning.  There's no agenda.  It's not a Bible study, Sunday school, or prayer meeting.  And, it's not for just the women or just a specific age group.  ALL are invited.   Anyone can come to help prepare the food, and anyone can show up to eat it.
Girl 1 making her famous gravy.

We gather, make coffee, flip some pancakes, and partake in one another's lives as we share a meal at a common table.  

The first Sunday, I realized how big a need this breakfast was going to fill when I found myself at a loss for topics of conversation.  I'd worshiped next to these people for years now, but I didn't know my supposed family members well enough to carry on a conversation.  That has changed by now, though, as I look forward to each Sunday and can't wait to hear how the baby shower went, how the trip to Florida was, how Mrs. B is feeling, what we will plan to cook next week.  We've brought each other eggs, traded vegetables, given out laundry soap samples, and just generally become a part of one another's lives.

Girl 2 lends a hand with clean-up.
As I've considered the many ways this has changed our experience of church for the better, some of the quotes I encountered in my reading of Eat with Joy by Rachel Marie Stone come to mind:

"Eating with others  is more than just a symbol of friendship, of belonging, of mutual trust -- it is a living metaphor for our connection with other human beings as well as our dependence on the God who feeds us."

Nora Ephron tells us that "A family is a group of people who eat the same thing for dinner."

When Jesus tells us to "do this in remembrance of [Him],"  He surely meant for us to take the cup and bread, but I don't think He meant for us to leave the table with it.  Most churches today observe Communion facing the altar or "table" or the front of the church.  Certainly, we are intended to partake with a heart toward God.  But, Communion need not feel so inward; the earliest believers had hearts toward Christ and eyes toward each other as they gathered around the table.  By the time we've got the last dishes washed up and put away, I feel we've already had the Lord's Supper, the bread and grape juice we'll have during the service just mean we get to Remember again.