Joshua Graves
Exploring the Collision of Culture & Faith
Bread and Wine
January 13, 2011


Last night, I spoke in Otter Creek’s Vespers worship gathering on the baptism of Jesus in Matthew’s story. After managing to keep my thoughts to ten minutes (ish)–a real feat for this preacher–I was blessed to serve the bread during communion (your tradition might call it the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist). As each person came to the front of the sanctuary, kneeling before the two presider’s (bread and wine), I spoke these words, ” Josh (insert name of person), with you God is well pleased.”

I realized, in this moment, how long it had been since I’d administered the sacred meal. In Rochester, I served (from at least one table) every single Sunday. We combined prayer, laughter, and hugs (it’s not for everyone) with Jesus’ table because we think Jesus is offering an invitation to a meal not a snack. It is the Lord’s Supper after all, not the Lord’s little snack.

As each person came, I recalled a bit of their story (what I know anyway) . . . how they’d been wrestling with God (Winter Christians and Summer Christians) anticipating God’s voice to bust through the walls of life. Communion, when done in a way that breeds hospitality not individualism, can be a practice of evangelism. That is, it’s a practice (like baptism) that can’t be replicated at a NFL game, Broadway, or the library–though God works there also.

Sara Miles captures the power of the sacred meal: “Faith turned out not to be abstract at all, but material and physical. I’d thought Christianity meant angels and trinities and being good. Instead, I discovered a religion rooted in the most ordinary yet subversive practice: a dinner table where everyone is welcome, where the despised and outcast are honored.”

So, come on to the table. Come get it. Be filled. Never hunger again.

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Was blessed to partake from you at the sound of those words.

by Andrew Krinks (Jan 13 2011, 1:23 pm)

Honored to be a part of your journey as well as Lindsey’s. JG

by Josh (Jan 13 2011, 8:42 pm)

I preached the baptism text this morning and mentioned how your church conducted the LS in this regard.

by Phillip (Jan 16 2011, 3:33 pm)

For some reason, my posts disappear here. I am coming to believe you are censoring me. 🙂
Just wanted to let you know that I preach the passage on Jesus’ baptism yesterday and referred to your communion service and the pronouncement of God’s love to each recipient.

by Phillip (Jan 17 2011, 7:31 am)

I’m not censoring you, promise. I’ve had trouble with certain posts (I think it has to do with email addresses). Sorry for that!

by Josh Graves (Jan 17 2011, 12:34 pm)
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