Many thanks to Mihee Kim-Kort who discussed the scripture with me for This Everyday Holy Blog which is at the base of this sermon
Eating as an act is interesting, it is something every human has to do to stay alive.
Ever have a really good meal. The kind where you sit around afterwards and dissect what it was you loved about it? Almost reliving the meal and sharing with one another.
If I were God I probably would have made all food the same, to fit our needs. Here humans is grass, eat it and be nourished. Boom! Done! You are full, but Jesus promises not to just fill us up with some kind of food, but to nourish us in a new way.
But our God instead creates a myriad of flavors for us to try. In fact there are so many that eating a meal with another person creates a special kind of fellowship.
So, we all eat together, and then afterwards we can dissect the meal together. Talking about what was good, and sharing in that experience. We are in essence eating one another’s experiences and sharing into it.
What fills me up, and what I need is probably different than what you need (for instance I am a vegetarian and have been since the womb, meat made my mother feel ill). My husband would state that meat is necessary to meet his needs. What Jesus offers us is not just sufficency, not just enough to feed the whole world, but the right kind of food for you and for me. The food is different, but the experience is uniting. This is why our God is the God of justice because She meets us where we are and leads us to where we need to go.
Jesus is a prime example of that in his ministry, meeting people wherever they are: being stoned, up a tree, by a well even on a cross (if you are a follower of my blog you may notice this as one of my themes). Jesus meets us where we are.
But if you think about it, meal time is the epitome of what it is to experience church. It is to experience the Holy Spirit moving, each in our own way, and then sharing that experience. Ideally, Worship would be like a GREAT meal, where each of us imbibe in worship and then sit down together and talk about which instance of experiencing God–reliving it for others and inviting them to consume that experience with us. We, in that instant, become the Body of Christ. Thus making us cannibles: Eating Christ and Each Other over and over again.
Only God could set up Worship so that shared experiences and differential understandings of scripture and worship could actually DEEPEN our understanding of God.