There are two things that all Christians have in common in some form or another – baptism and communion. Baptism gets you into the church, and communion reminds you of why you’re there. My faith tradition refers to communion as The Lord’s Supper. The original church word for it is eucharistia or Thanksgiving.
In the South, we know a thing or two about showing love with food, so it’s a bit of a surprise that someone hasn’t done something to improve on those dry wafers and grape juice that we serve the congregation. I’ve been to churches that use fresh baked bread and wine, but another part of my tradition is a strong professed aversion to alcohol in any form. (Insert your favorite Baptist drinking joke here.) In any case, it’s a lovely thought that communion and Thanksgiving are celebrated by the sharing of both physical and spiritual nourishment.
I’ve always thought that The Lord’s Supper should be observed often and Thanksgiving should be celebrated in July. Songs about amber waves of grain and bringing in the sheaves do not fit anything in my experience. However, anyone with a vegetable garden in Alabama is presently experiencing an explosive reaping of green beans, peas, okra, tomatoes, and whatever else was planted on Good Friday. We’re running out of recipes for zucchini and honestly, how much eggplant can one household consume?
While visiting my 93 year old aunt Eva Lois recently, her preparation of the dinner feast she was putting on the table for the family was interrupted by two of my cousins.
First it was Chip.
“I have three boxes of yellow squash. How much do you want?”
“Just a few. Sure did enjoy the butterbeans you brought by. Do you have any cucumbers?” she asked.
“Yes, but the mayor came by this morning and got most of them to make pickles for OctoberFest at the Methodist Church.”
Soon after it was Luke knocking.
“I have two five gallon buckets of sweet corn. How much do you want?”
“I’ll take one of them,” she said.
You might have had a similar experience recently. I certainly hope so. There is nothing in our daily lives that reflects the hospitality and love advocated in scripture better than the sharing of food and fellowship. And with summer’s bounty, it’s a supper the Lord would be proud of. Happy Thanksgiving.