St Peter's 13-18
At the moment, I am finding that while there are plenty of things that I am missing while the country is in lockdown, there are some things that I am getting the chance to do that I wouldn’t normally find time for. One of the things that I have been enjoying is making bread. For centuries, bread has been such a central part of most people’s diet that today loaves tend to be picked from the supermarket shelves without ever thinking about the process that gets it there.
There has been something quite wonderful about slowing the whole process down, mixing the flour and the yeast and waiting for the house to be filled with that delicious smell. And then there’s that pleasing way that the crumbs begin to fall as you cut the first slice, break and share …
Because Jesus broke break with his friends on the night before he died, for Christians breaking bread together isn’t just something that brings a smile, it’s a profound reminder that our lives are lived alongside others. We call it being in communion with other people, and with God. It’s in communion, together, that our simple everyday needs are taken care of. Bread is a reminder that it’s in the simplest of things that our needs are met, like our need both for food and for friendship. And so, if we let them, even now the simplest of things can make us smile, lift our spirits and be a source of life-giving gratitude.
Just after Easter, two of Jesus’ friends were walking on the road to Emmaus. They were sad because he was no longer with them when a stranger joined them on their journey. When they stopped to eat together, the stranger broke bread with them and they realised that it was the risen Jesus, sharing a moment of joy with food and friendship.
Sometimes the most special things are tightly bound up in what we see everyday, even if we fail to realise it. Today my prayer is that, whatever you may be feeling while you are very far away from the usual patterns of daily life, you too may come to see the extraordinary in the ordinary. And may it make you smile!