I have to admit, this food thing is starting to get out of hand! I noticed that my last two day’s posts were sugar induced and today we have Smörgåsbord. I think I was in college before I knew what a buffet was, but a Smörgåsbord, well I knew all about them. Even though it is a Swedish word, it was in fact an accumulation of enough food to even mellow out our Norwegian pride.
Lavish, is a word that comes to mind. Oh a Smörgåsbord is more that a buffet, it is an experience! You say buffet, I think of “Old Country Buffet” massive quantities of food to be sure, but 4,000 drum sticks, next to a tub of mashed potatoes, and an equally sized tub of corn on the cob, well at least they have a soft serve machine there.
But a Smörgåsbord: BORK BORK BORK! Now we are talking food. Maybe not in shear bulk, but style, and flavors, when I think of a smorgasbord I think of good food, carefully prepared, and shared with many. Maybe this is because the only buffet type meals I ever attended until I was well into my adult years were smorgasbords held in church basements. No mass produced food here, this food was homemade, made with pride and purpose and it was enjoyed in an atmosphere of fellowship! They do say ambiance is everything, and there is nothing like a church basement, sitting on a cold folding chair at a table covered with a table cloth that was hand embroidered the same ladies who are currently peering into the bottom of a now empty 100 cup coffee pot.
Ok, and this has to do with Lent, The Lord’s Prayer and Give us this day our daily bread, how? Well, It does, daily bread and the celebration of the Lord’s Supper were the focal points of today’s devotion. Communion is very much a part of my daily bread though I don’t consume it quite that often. Oh there are weeks when I do have it five or six times, (my personal record was during Holy Week 2 or 3 years ago, I think I had communion, ummm at least 15 times!) but the point is it is daily bread in the fact that Christ comes to us in this meal and feeds us with his presence in our lives.
Some may say (as someone did today) that Christ isn’t only with us in communion, and that is a good point and it is true. But this is the place where he has promised to be. So as we gather for worship and receive the gift of Holy Communion, we also know in faith that Christ is in fact there, we don’t have to hope or wonder, for he has promised.
One of the reasons this is daily bread is Christ’s presence to be sure, but it is also because of something I notice every time we gather. It is a perk of being a pastor and leading worship. But I get to see the whole people of God gathered, streaming forward for the meal, that in itself is a powerful image in my mind. I did a Google search for images of communion, and I found a lot of pictures of bread and wine, many of the pope giving communion to someone, but I couldn’t find a picture that gave that vision of the whole people of God coming to receive this gift of God.
Maybe we fixate on daily bread even in communion as a me thing and not an us thing, as in “give us this day our daily bread.” To me part of this daily bread is the bread and the wine, but it is also feeding and being feed with others. It is my friend a smorgasbord, in the best sense of the word. Holy Communion is daily bread, all God’s best gifts are given to us not in bulk, but enough, carefully prepared for each of us in Christ.