The Bread and the Fish
“When He was at the table with them, He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.” –Luke 24:30
Before the coronavirus pandemic arrived on our doorstep last year, my husband and I were part of a Friday Night Supper Club. Our group planned our menus together, divided up who would prepare what at home, and then came together around our big dining room table to enjoy the fruit of our labor. It was a fun way to end the week, and a great opportunity to make new friends and try new foods.
Gathering around “the table” has always been an important part of life with family and friends. It’s here that we come face to face to share our food and our feelings, and to recall the day’s highs and lows, ups and downs, blessings and disappointments. So, is it any wonder that the two men Jesus encountered on the road to Emmaus wanted Him to come to the table with them? In their minds the conversation was too good to be over. This stranger had more they needed and wanted to hear.
Dutch scientist Louise Fresco says, “Food, in the end, in our own tradition, is something holy…” Jesus breaking bread with the two men certainly was a profoundly holy experience. Scripture tells us that the simple act of being at the table together, of Jesus taking, blessing, breaking, and giving them bread opened their eyes to His identity. And spurred them to return to Jerusalem at once to share the good news.
“It is true! The Lord has risen…”
What a joyful celebration that next meal was, as Jesus once again miraculously appeared and joined them at the table. This time, however, the Bread of Life enjoyed a simple piece of fish, perhaps sparking their remembrance of the day He fed the 5000 or His promise to make them fishers of men.
Whatever the food or the location, the One who nourishes our souls is present with us each time we gather at the table. It’s the place that becomes sacred space as we gather in Jesus’ name.
Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest, and let this food to us be blessed. Amen.