The Diner Must Become Dinner

We hear “This is my body” and “This is the blood of the covenant,” phrases that mark the bread and wine with Christ’s name. Eating and drinking food marked with Jesus’ name isn’t enough. It’s not the food alone, but the mode of being food for others that validates the Lord’s Supper and allows it to be a proclamation of his saving death. To partake of the Lord’s Supper is to live the Lord’s dying.

Every act of dining presupposes an act of violence. For example, to share a loaf of bread we bury wheat seeds that grow and then are cut down, crushed, kneaded, put into an oven. Similarly, grapes are crushed and fermented. Nothing in food or beverage is pretty and tidy before it comes to table. Those who have studied rules of etiquette down through the centuries feel that the rules were made to keep the diners from becoming the dinner. After all, we sit across from one another with knives and forks in our hands.

Because death and life are evident in meals, Jesus made the meal the bearer of the mystery of his life and ours, his death and ours.

How are you food for others? When do others feed on your time and energy?

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