Every Meal is Communion

By Wayne Danielson

Living alone after so many years of living in the midst of a large and noisy family has its difficult moments.

For one thing, the house is way too quiet most of the time.

To break the silence, I sometimes speak out loud.  Don't laugh.  One day this could happen to you.

Usually, I just give myself good advice.  "Don't forget to lock the door before you go to bed," is a favorite.   And "Remember your glasses," is another.  "Be sure your sox match," is also a helpful admonition.

But this constant nagging at myself gets boring, so I also speak to the other inhabitants of my house and yard.

My springer spaniel is especially attentive to my talk, though she does have a distressing tendency to listen most closely and gaze at me most fondly when she wants a dog biscuit.  I also try to improve the manners of the neighborhood birds that congregate around the backyard feeder at breakfast and dinner time.  And I speak, sometimes harshly I'm afraid, to the neighhood cats that congregate around the birds.

Even with all these conversations going on, however, my house is still a lonely place from time to time -- especially at mealtimes. 

Eating alone ranks right up there with drinking alone as my least favorite occupation.

And that's why, I suppose, I've come to a new understanding of the familiar words of The Lord's Supper as given by Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians: (I Corinthians 11:23-26)

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered

unto you, That the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he

was betrayed, took bread:   And when he had given thanks,

he brake it and said, Take, eat; this is my body, which is

broken for you:  do this in remembrance of me.  After the

same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped,

saying: This cup is the new testament in my blood:  this

do ye, as oft as ye drink it,  in remembrance of me.  For

as oft as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew

the Lord's death till he come.

The words I have emphasized in the text are the important ones for me.

Paul seems to advise the Christians at Corinth to treat every  meal as The Last Supper, that is, to treat every meal as a time for renewing communication with God through remembering his Son, Jesus Christ.

I have been trying to follow Paul's advice, because I am certain that Paul must have known loneliness out there on those Roman roads, and somehow I trust that the inspiration of his words will help me.

At home alone, as I break the bread and lift the cup, I remember Christ.  And, more often than not, I find myself, through remembrance, not only in His presence, but in the presence of all those who have lived and died in His name.

They are the large and noisy family of God.

At that moment, I don't need to speak aloud, though the dog and the birds and the cats may expect to hear my voice.  I am, for a time, in the company of saints.