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Communing with the Church, from My Kitchen

“Bread of Life,

Pure Living Water,

Lover of my soul,

In my weakness be my strength to reach the final goal.” 

I’ve learned to tune in and pay attention to the thoughts, the pictures that run through my mind first thing in the morning, before I open my eyes and am just coming to consciousness. That’s when it’s easiest to hear the quiet voice of the Lord or when I’m more likely get a quick picture of something that He wants to speak into my heart.

On Easter morning, I awoke to the lines of a song that I don’t think I’ve sung since my high school chorus sang it over 35 years ago.

“Bread of Life, pure Living Water, Lover of my Soul…”

That line just kept winging through my heart on Easter morning while my eyes still were closed.

Expectant. Expectant with hope.

I’ve taken communion most every Sunday for over 40 years now–ever since I came forward one day in May when I was 12 and the preacher, my Dad, baptized me. I’ve never experienced communion like I did on Easter, however.

I was so full of the realization that this bread of life was connecting me together with every other sister and brother in Christ, wherever they were around the world.

Even though I was celebrating the risen Christ and Easter around my kitchen table with only my family instead of in a church full of other believers, this holy emblem united me with every other believer on this pandemic-stricken planet.

Through Christ, covered by His blood, we are together and one.

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins’” (Matt. 26:26-28).

Before the rest of the house stirred on Easter morning, I decided to get up and make our communion bread. I scooped out a handful of flour, a little olive oil, a few spoonfuls of water, and honey. (Hey, for once, I was in charge of making the bread; I figured, why not honey?)

As I made the bread, I was struck again with the beauty of the simplicity of this remembrance God planned for us.

I felt united with the millions of women down through time who had felt the dough in their hands, just like I did now, who had kneaded the dough, just like I did now, who had prayed over their work, just like I did now.

I remembered one of my Bible professors in college, Dr. Knight, sharing about his experiences of taking communion while he was in the Vietnam war. He talked of taking the bread and juice alone in the jungles of Vietnam each week and meditating on how it united him with all his loved ones around the world.

“One bread, one body, one Lord of all”–another line from a hymn I sang and hadn’t thought of in years. Together we receive the gift of forgiveness, undeserved, unearned through Christ’s sacrifice.

I’ve never forgotten my professor’s lesson on that and never felt that lesson so acutely until this Easter.

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