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Early morning worship is prepared at Earlston Parish Church in Scotland.
Thanks to RevGal Julie Rennick for the photo. 

Brown body, brown bread


Dear Gals and Pals,

In the category of things we take for granted, I never thought much about what kind of bread we used for Communion, only whether it was fresh and tasted good. I grieved over stale bread cubes, grimaced over the flavor of rosemary focaccia dipped in grape juice, and groaned (quietly) over moldy pita grabbed from the church freezer by a deacon when someone else failed to provide. I took offense at being given a slice of bread to break - would you vivisect our Lord, I asked nobody in particular?

Meanwhile, I earnestly deconstructed our white, Victorian images of Jesus. Yet it took years before I thought about the image being projected by the bread meant to represent his brown body. Whether pita or loaf, ciabatta or challah, it was all the same color. 

It was all white. 

Yesterday I went to the grocery store and looked for bread with my wife, for her service tonight. She wants to fill three baskets without keeping the people who need gluten-free separate from the rest of the congregation, and I thought we could find a multi-grain loaf in the gluten-free section. We stood reading ingredients together. In the tiny print, we found something wrong with every loaf. We will keep trying. We can all keep trying.

Jesus commanded the disciples to love each other, and the same mandate applies to us. We have the power to send a message of love to the church and to the world with each word we speak, each action we take, each loaf we share. When that bread is broken tonight, I’ll be thinking of all of you, tearing pieces of bread, in churches of all descriptions, for people of all descriptions. I will be treasuring this community of the faithful tied by bonds of love, across all kinds of human-made boundaries. I will be thinking of your faces, the ones I know in person, and the ones I know as little pictures on Facebook, and the ones I imagine in the words you write. On this night when we want all to go well, may the bread be flavorful and fresh, and the cup a sweet reminder of the One who lived his life with so much love, Jesus Christ. May the meal convey welcome not just to a collective all but to each one who receives it. And may each and every one of you be blessed, just as you are a blessing to those you serve and a blessing to me.



Big Event 11

Save the dates! Our next Big Event will be in Dallas, Texas, January 22-26, 2018. "What Got You Here Won't Keep You Here" will be the central theme of teaching from enneagram master teacher Suzanne Stabile, after starting the week with "Know Your Number." Registration details will be announced first via this email next week. 

RevGals around the web this week

Do not miss Joanna Harader's latest humor column on our website, Wits' Ends Day: Pilate Tweets Holy Week.

Still working on Sunday's order of service? Mindi Welton-Mitchell has great resources, as always

And for sermon inspiration, visit Rachael Keefe for the RCL - Fear Not! - and Lia Scholl at the RevGals website for the Narrative Lectionary - Living Among the Dead.

Pondering Pilate's eternal question? Jan Edmiston takes it one step farther, asking Who is Your Truthteller?

BlogPal and former teacher Derek Maul offers some timely thoughts on policing, violence, and the point of no return: Is policing for us...or for them? #UnitedAirlines 

Rosalind Hughes offers a poem for Holy Week

Liz Crumlish reminds us how close we are to The Betrayer.

Looking for additional distractions? Be sure to visit our Feedly Shared Collection, where you can catch up with all the bloggers in the RevGals community.
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