Yesterday, a few of us visited the Center for Civil and Human Rights. In one room, you’re invited to sit at a lunch counter. You put on some headphones then hear the vitriol spewed by white segregationists. The seats even shake at a couple of points. It makes the lunch counter experience very real. And frightening.
The lunch counter movement in the 1960s—and the courage of all the young people who tried to integrate them—reminds us of just how prophetic simply eating together can be.
Jesus knew that. We’re about to enter a new liturgical year, the year of Luke. All through Luke, Jesus keeps eating with all the wrong people—and gets berated by the religious authorities for doing so.
But Jesus knew—and tried to show the rest of us—that when we eat together, something holy happens. The playing field is leveled. Sharing the same food, the same drink, we know, we believe that we all are created in the image of God and that each of us is deeply loved by God.
So, let’s do this prophetic thing together: Let’s share a meal together.
Jesus took bread, and after giving thanks to God, broke it, and gave it to the disciples, saying: ‘This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
Let us pray.
Holy One, how easy it is for us to come to this table—we simply walk a few steps from our seats, stand in a circle, and receive the elements as they are passed. We have no fear, no shred of doubt as to whether we will be served. As we share the bread and the cup today, remind us of all who do not come to this meal so easily. And reignite in us a passion to share this meal, which is to say, your love with everyone we meet. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.