I cleaned out my refrigerator this week. After being gone for two weeks, on retreat and then vacation in Saint Louis, I came back to a stink that could only be called unholy. The nice part, if there is a nice part to fridge-stench, is that most of the offending things were leftovers from big meals I had made for a bunch of folks.
I have the benefit of living in the same apartment complex as four of my friends, and sharing recipes and creations with a few other neighbors. Meals have become less about me eating and more about us eating, sharing, talking, contributing. I still have the bachelor crawl every now and again (and for Chipotle, I am always thankful right up to the point of eating that last bite that makes me feel gross), but planning, shopping, cooking, preparing for and eating with people is much more filling than just worrying about myself.
There’s a lot to be said about sharing a meal, the Table we share each Sunday, and liturgy—the work for the people—that we all share. This week, as we celebrate World Communion Sunday, an ecumenical and international movement where folks who don’t practice communion every week (or even every month) join as many folks as possible at the table together, we’ll also be looking at what we do not only with leftovers, but with the first fruits of what sustains us. What happens if we are so intentional about feeding other people that there’s not leftovers? What if that’s about more than food?
On a different note, I do want to thank you all for giving me the time off to recharge the batteries and see my family and friends in Saint Louis. I got to meet two babies, eat at five of the eight best restaurants in Saint Louis, and see the Cardinals play in the new stadium. (At what point do people stop calling things new? I realized I’m finally the pastor here, not the new pastor, but my tenure has been shorter than the existence of the newly-built Busch Stadium…) It was marvelous. I am thankful for time off, and I am thankful for our time back together and the road we’re walking. I look forward to seeing you Sunday.