Wine Before Breakfast
Wycliffe College Chapel, 5 Hoskin Ave.
Tuesday, November 16, 7:22am
Stones or bread?
I’ve been reading Sara Miles’ wonderful memoir Take this Bread recently and that has got me thinking about hunger. In the book Miles tells the story of her own conversion around the Eucharistic table at St. Gregory’s of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco. She came to the Eucharist one day, ate bread, had her life radically transformed and decided that she needed to offer bread (and vegetables, and fruit, and all kinds of other food) to the hungry people of their neighbourhood. One of the wonderful things about the food pantry (a ka “Food Bank”) at St. Gregory’s is that it happens around the altar, not stuck in a basement far away from where the body and blood of Christ are on offer at every Eucharist.
Sara Miles ate bread and her deepest hunger was satisfied. And so she offers bread. She offers to feed the empty stomachs of her hungry neighbours and in doing so touches a hunger that is deeper than the stomach.
We don’t run a food pantry at Wine Before Breakfast, but a number of us are involved in reaching out to our most vulnerable neighbours with food and drink, a smiling face, a warm bed, a place of safety.
In tomorrow’s passage from the Sermon on the Mount Jesus tells us that we only need to ask and we will receive, knock and the door will be open to us. “Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone?”
Bread or stone? It seems to me that we live in a culture that offers us stones for bread. Whether we are talking about the industrial products that are passed off as food or the deepest hunger for meaning and direction, there is something about the consumerism of global capitalism that fills us while leaving us empty. Indeed, fills us while making us hungry for more of what does not satisfy.
Isaiah asked, “Why do you spend your money for what which is not bread, and your labour for that which does not satisfy?” Why settle for stones, when there is bread on offer?
Jesus is the bread of life. We come to eat every Tuesday morning.
Wine Before Breakfast, bread with breakfast. Come and eat.
And bring your hungry friends.
Dave Burke will be preaching,
Andrew Federle will be breaking the bread,
Bethany Osborne has done the baking,
the Kensington Boys are cooking the muffins,
the Amish Sausage is back,
and the Bandhood will be leading our song.
Andrew Federle is celebrating.
The Bandhood is leading in song.
Start Time: 7:22am
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