Monday, March 12, 2012

The (Stale) Body of Christ

I feel a little guilty reveling in the sun on this late winter, though early summer like day. The winter we had here in South Dakota can scarcely be counted as such. Not that I'm complaining. But it is because of the harshness of winter that the spring is so dear. Still, I sit in sun, warmed by it's strength, and cherish the beauty of being out of doors.
On days like today, 60 (15ish C), sunny, a gentle breeze, I cannot bear to be inside. So here I sit, on the front porch, absorbing the sun, enjoying a glass of wine, and completely procrastinating on the work I really should be doing. But who can write about global atrocities when sunshine beckons?And besides, the simple act of writing, whatever it is, is a good warm up for writing that actually needs to get done. Gets the creative juices flowing. And it's clearly been a long time since the written word has flowed out of me as the thawing rivers now burst forth from their icy prisons. I guess we'll consider this bloggified reflection a warm up round before I delve into the weight of global slavery.
I was just reading through an old journal. It was from Lent last year. Reading through it was a bit of the inspiration to go inside and pour myself a glass of wine to enjoy back here, out in the sun. Here is what stood out to me:
I took communion there (First Lutheran) for the first time on Sunday. The pastor pressed the communion wafer into my hand, extra firmly it seemed, as if she knew I really needed it. Perhpas more likely she just wanted to make sure I didn't drop it. I took it and then felt silly for thinking to Jesus, "You're kind of stale."
This was followed a few days later by:
If we think you really are in the bread, or the bread is really going to be you, it seems like better bread is in order.
Really, those little flimsy, tasteless, wafers are the life giving body of Christ? When I lived in Seattle, I was a part of a community called Church of the Apostles. During my time there, I got to make the communion bread every week. (Baking secret: spoon the flour into the measuring cup and the scape the excess off the top with the flat side of a knife. Less dense. More fluffy.) Perhaps this is the reason I get kind of picky about communion bread.

But really, if there is one thing Jesus is not, it's stale. If there is one thing the body of Christ (The Church) has a tendency to's stale.We're not moldy and ruined, but we're not exactly brimming with freshness all the time either. We're contented with our stale little wafer of a life, when, with a little yeast, a little kneading, and a little love baked in, the scent radiating from us should draw in passers-by like Peeta's family bakery, doling out bread to a starving District 12.