Sunday, November 7, 2010

Savoring the Lord's Supper

I’ve been on Weight Watchers now for about a year and a half. Since I’m still in the process of losing weight and trying to learn to eat healthy, I think it’s great whenever I find an article that gives me suggestions that I can use to develop a healthier lifestyle.

I tend to eat too quickly so recently, when I read an article about eating slowly, it immediately caught my attention. The author said it takes time about 20 minutes for our sense of full to kick in so when we gobble our food too quickly, we don’t give ourselves enough time to feel full. So, as a result, we tend to overeat. Instead, the article said that we need to eat slowly and savor eat bite. This is a concept that I’m trying to learn but unfortunately I’ve usually consumed most of my meal before I remember to slow down and savor it.

In the Christian religion, a tradition has developed which is called the Lord’s Supper. In this tradition, the participants sit quietly in neat rows while they are each given a tiny piece of bread to eat and a thimbleful of grape juice to drink. When the activity is over, they’re told that they’ve just participated in the Lord’s Supper. I believe this tradition cheapens the meaning of the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper was never meant to be tiny snack quickly consumed in a mournful atmosphere. Instead, it was supposed to be a full meal enjoyed by the family of God.

Dictionary.com defines savor as “to give oneself to the enjoyment of: to savor the best in life.”

I think this is a great description of how we’re supposed to eat the Lord’s Supper. It’s a time to relax and savor the meal in a thankful, joyful atmosphere surrounded by family and friends. Instead of sitting quietly and eating, it should be a time filled with conversation and laughter as we celebrate our lives together as believers.

Today, it’s known that an important part of healthy family life is the time when the family gathers around the dinner table and shares with one another the events of their day. We live in a busy society where during the day, family members are scattered going their separate ways. The communal family dinner is important for keeping the family together. Of course, some families sit at the same table and each eats his or her own meal in total silence so the food really isn’t what’s important. What is important is that each member takes time away from his or her busy schedule to connect with the others in a meaningful way and this always involves conversation and sharing.

The same is true for God’s family. As we gather together and share our lives over a meal, relationships are formed. Instead of being a people of rituals and traditions, as children of God, we’re to be people of relationship.

I believe the Lord’s Supper actually takes place when the church gathers for a covered dish supper. Each participant brings a meal to share with the rest of the family. As they gather to eat and share the events of their lives, walls come down in this relaxed atmosphere. Together, they remember and re-count the blessings of their salvation and the family experiences the unity of fellowship. Before his death, Jesus asked God to bring the church into oneness with one another and also with him and God. I believe the unity of fellowship that is experienced when the church gathers together to eat a meal is an answer to this request.