By The Reverend Dr. Jo Forrest
When I served a multi-cultural, Latino congregation, the senior minister asked members to bring bread reminiscent of their home country on World Communion Sunday. Our table could not hold the plenty and variety of breads commonly served in Cuba, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Ecuador, and more. Breads of all shapes and hues graced the table. Some had hard crusts, others were sturdy for sandwiches, some soft and pliable, and a few were still warm from the oven. The fragrance rising from our table was intoxicating.
I don’t think I’ve ever served communion with the congregation truly salivating as they anticipated a taste of heaven.
Through the breads presented, people connected to a homeland that defined them. As we blessed the breads, we felt the comfort in belonging to each other that morning. In the breads we broke, we remembered Jesus’ promises and were reminded of his presence. In the breads we tasted, we experienced God’s love.
Throughout scripture, bread is an underlying symbol of God’s presence from appearing at Abraham’s tent in the Book of Genesis to disciples seeing Jesus after that first Easter. Bread is miraculous. Actually God is miraculous and we know this through the way bread feeds our hungers and brings us closer.
On Sunday, August 4, we will begin a five-part sermon series entitled Bread from Heaven.
What is a story of bread in your life? A white-bread PB&J you loved eating in your school lunch box? Do you debate using Hawaiian rolls for pulled pork sliders? How about those popovers from Indian Hill! What is your memory of the first spoonful of cereal (the softest kind of bread) you served your grandchild?
Send us your stories of bread even if it is not bread but gluten-free crackers….
(As an aside, please know how deeply grateful I am to all of you for the sabbatical you gave me this summer. I return rested, healed, and anxious to be with you.)
August 4, Exodus 16, “Mana”, Jo Forrest
August 11, I Kings 17, “Widow of Zarephath”, Jo Forrest
August 18, Mark 14:12–25, “Last Supper”, Katie Lancaster
August 25, John 6, “Feeding 5000″, Katie Lancaster
September 1, Genesis 18, “Strangers and Angels”, Bill Evertsberg
September 8, “Emmaus Road“, Bill Evertsberg