More than a decade ago, I entered a worship space a bit early. I joined some people from my community in in assembling sack lunches. Together, we made sandwiches and placed them in bags with some fruit and just a bit of candy. Then we put the bags on and under the Communion Table. That night, we were going to engage a practice we decided to call “Communion Table Extended.” During our service, we shared the Eucharist meal together, and afterwards, we walked around in the neighborhood to share those bags of food with anyone who might enjoy them — mainly, neighbors experiencing homelessness and hungry college students.
As I think of that night so many years ago, a particular image comes to mind. I think of my mentor who celebrated communion with us that night. After saying a prayer, breaking the bread, and pouring the cup — all part of what is typical and sacred — he voiced some words that are also both typical and sacred: “These are the gifts of God for the people of God.”
But instead of lifting up the bread and the cup as is usual, in this moment of practicing Communion Table Extended, he lifted up the bread and a bag of M&Ms.
Bread. And M&Ms. “These are the gifts of God for the people of God.” And they were.
This meal of bread and cup… So many people have taught me how sacred this is. But I also thank this mentor of mine, both in this moment and many other moments, for teaching me how ordinary it is – that is, how grace and connection are found among us in ordinary, everyday, relational experiences.
In fact, this sacred meal is intended to be a prelude for many meals and connections. In these too, we can be surprised at how grace and connection are found among us through ordinary, everyday, relational experiences.
The image of holding up those M&Ms has stayed with me all those years.
It is another reminder of