Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mac and Cheese Eucharist

Today my right wrist aches and my hand is sore.  Last night at First Lutheran, I dished out macaroni and cheese to plate after plate.  I've been going to First Lutheran for years with my suburban church to serve dinner to anyone who gets there on time (mostly homeless men), but last night was the first night I served on the line dishing out food.

I've walked around the fellowship hall with trays of dessert, but that's as close as I got to serving food.  I've cooked it and brought it out to the line, but I've never served it.

Last night we were short-staffed.  A lot of the people who help out through the school year have headed to their northern homes for the summer.  I was happy to help.

I must confess to finding it a bit overwhelming.  I was given strict orders to serve smaller portions first.  People could come back for seconds, if there was enough.  I was worried that there wouldn't be enough.

People came back again and again.  The mac and cheese was a bona fide hit, which didn't surprise me.  It was warm and oozing with cheesy goodness.  More than one person shared memories of his mom's mac and cheese.  For many of us, nothing says love like mac and cheese at the end of the day.

I always worry that the food will run out.  I wonder why I don't learn the lesson that the miracles of Christ teach us.  Our God is a God of health and abundance.  Our God can take a few loaves and fishes and feed thousands.

At our recent Create in Me retreat, we talked about the Eucharist and how our celebration of it often seems stingy, with dried husks of wafers for the bread and wine that you wouldn't want to drink beyond the tiny sip in the plastic cup.

What would it look like to have a Eucharist that reflected God's abundance?  How could we have a Eucharist that nourished our bodies and spirits as well as our souls?

Our suburban church, Trinity Lutheran in Pembroke Pines, has made a start.  Most Sundays, we have bread baked by our pastor.  It's amazing.  The wine is a different story, but the bread could sustain life for weeks if that was all we had.

I think about the reaction to the mac and cheese and start to dream of a different Eucharist.  What would it look like if our Eucharist offered beloved foods of childhood? 

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