So many conversations I have
had in recent weeks centered on connecting with people, avoiding the
online attractions and wall posts and tweets and just being in the same
room with friends and loved ones. This winter the extreme cold has kept many of us from participating in this kind of gathering…making for some true cabin fever.
Yesterday, in spite of additional snow here, I had the privilege to gather with friends I had not been able to see since mid December. We agreed to meet in one person’s home and share some time together…and a delicious meal.
It was, as we said then, a feast for body and soul.
Each of us had brought food to share, creating a “pot-luck” meal. Each and every dish was yummy. There were lots of comments about please-share-the-recipe. There was good wine, lighted candles, this cozy home so graciously opened up to us, a warm fire to sit by, and lots of good conversation. It was exactly what the doctor ordered.
During our meal there was a brief conversation at the table that I think will always stay with me. My friend made a remark along the lines that it was always interesting that what people bring to the table for a pot-luck meal all seems to fit together. Another friend had commented about fretting over how a certain dish would go with the meat, but then decided to just ‘go with it’, and how that always ended up okay. The flavors work together, just as they are.
In the midst of all the other little conversations happening at the same time, this stood out for me. Because in that moment, hearing what my friends said, I understood. I looked at my friend and said,
“And that is what communion really is.”
In it’s simplest definition, communion is an act of sharing. (Like me, you may automatically think about Communion as a sacrament in a religious setting. That’s okay. But I’m not referring to any religious ceremony here, nor am I trying to deny the importance of those rituals.)
This intimate act of sharing a meal, coming just as we are to the gathering of friends, this is communion to me.
What we bring to the table always works. When we bring the best we can offer in that moment, and celebrate that others have done the same. We nourished our bodies with good food made by the hands of many. Our souls were nourished by the act of this fellowship, safe inside a welcoming home on a cold winter day.