Every third Friday, several members of our congregation and I volunteer at the Como Mobile Food Pantry. We help distribute healthy food to hundreds of our neighbors who are in need. My job is typically to help carry the heavy boxes and bags of food to the cars of those who are unable to do so themselves. I always enjoy meeting new people and learning a little about them as we walk together.
Yesterday, one of the last people in the line was an elderly gentleman. He took quite a bit of time at the last “station” which holds all the bread. As we walked out to his car, he asked me if I had ever seen a loaf of bread and just thought about how beautiful it is. He searches for beautiful loaves of bread when he can, and was very thankful to receive two loaves which he deemed beautiful. It’s not the visual beauty that he is talking about, however. He explained that the most beautiful part of a loaf of bread is its inherent cry to be shared with others. He can’t eat a whole loaf by himself in one sitting, so he seeks out others who can break bread with him. If he can’t find someone, he shares it with the birds. They are all God’s creation, he explained, and he loves the fellowship that can be discovered over that shared bread.
I commented that there was a reason that Jesus broke bread that night in the Upper Room, and that we continue to do so today. His face lit up. “You get it,” he said. When Jesus gathered his disciples together the night before he gave His life for all, he broke the bread and told them to eat “as this is my body, given for you. Do it often in remembrance of me.” We gather in houses of worship and partake in the sacrament of Holy Communion. Today was a reminder that the breaking of bread and communion need not be limited to within the walls of the church, or in a liturgical context. Communion can be had over shared meals, even when one is sharing with birds in the park.
“Do this often in remembrance of me.”
The Five & Two Food Truck ministry seeks to bring the living Christ out into the world. As we meet our neighbors where they are and break bread with them, we are doing so much more than feeding the hungry. We are proclaiming the beauty of a loaf of bread, the beauty of communion and fellowship and the beautiful Gospel message that Jesus loves them.