Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Communion Bread with Peanut Butter

Breakfast: 4 muffins tinfoiled and tossed in the fire.
bacon and sausage grilled over the fire.
Lunch: Communion. Communion leftovers (pita bread) with peanut butter and hummos
Dinner: 2 pears, seared over the fire. Wild mushroom soup, bruschetta all over--you guessed it---the fire! Lots of trail mix.

Origin of Item: whole wheat pita bread from Pita House Bakery in Chicago (Albany Park)

Theological Reflection: I was camping yesterday for a retreat on the shores of Lake Michigan, and we had a short communion service using local Michigan wine and Chicago pita bread. But then, there were only 6 of us and lots of pita left. Being in the woods, the birds didn't really need our help with food, so we decided not to disperse it to them, as is customary. We were the ones with limited supplies (relative to the city).  So what did we do? That's right, we ate it. But it wasn't so good without that wine to soften it up a bit. The Eucharist was a little dry and chewy. So then what did we do? We broke out the hummos and peanut butter. And we cleaned up.

Being a bunch of church nerds, we then tried to figure out if, and to what extent, we were now heathens. Of course, our Lutheran understanding meant that God is "in, with and under" the bread and wine. Which in no way makes them inedible after communion--quite the contrary. But does their status as sacrament make them undippable? Now that's harder. The pb n pita perplexed us, but it was hard to put our messy fingers on why.

But looking back, it raises the question for me of when does our flexibility, our openness, lead to irreverence? When does having fun become making fun? I'm not suggesting we were irreverent or disrespectful in any way, not at all. But I do wonder, in a world that must reconsider it's commitment to quality and locally-produced food, can we really say that all "bread is bread"?  Or do we need to make some clarifications as to when and how and to what foods we give our reverence?  Thank God for Communion, not bread, because it demands our reverence. That loaf reminds us that it is not just bread. And it demands that we do not live by bread alone.

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