The Table Is Set. Come and Be Fed.

Bread. The staff of life.

The centrality of bread in Christian, and Jewish, religious life came to mind recently.

I have been attending Shabbat with Jonathan periodically, and sharing the challah is an essential part of that liturgy.

And then, Michelle Campbell, who prepares a homemade and home-baked loaf each week for communion at MCC Richmond, called to say she was going out of town unexpectedly. Who could bake the bread for Sunday (she already had dough in the freezer)?

That problem was easily solved (Bubba Bruce will bake it, of course).

So, we will have bread. We will share in the glory of simple, nourishing bread.

Jesus broke it open for the disciples, and for us, to symbolize the breaking of his body. Jews see in it the wholeness of God, feeding the entire community.

Christians also can see the loaf of bread as the Body of Christ–the whole believing community–and, as we eat of the bread, how the community feeds each of us. “This is my body, broken open for you . . . .”

This Sunday, again, the communion celebrant will say, during the central moment of worship, “The table is set. Come and be fed.”

Perhaps we can begin to understand that is the invitation of Jesus not only to the divine meal but also to participate in the divinely-created community.