The Greek word for friendship literally means (apparently) someone with whom you share bread. Which adds meaning to Jesus offering Judas bread at the last supper.
Bread turns up an awful lot in the Bible. Both literally and metaphorically. The first time it is mentioned is when Melchizedek, the mysterious King / Priest figure with a walk on part in Genesis, meets Abram, bringing bread and wine. Which sounds an awful lot like communion. Jesus is described as a priest in the order of Melchizedek. So some interesting synergy there.
The promised land is described, amongst other things, as a place where 'bread will not be scarce'.
Bread is universal. It turns up in most cultures. It is earthy and ordinary. And that is how Jesus chose to describe himself. As the bread of life. And the giving of his body is described by him as a gift of bread. I love the connection between Jesus and the ordinary things of life. He is amongst us in the normality of life. Present in all things. And making all things beautiful.
Greg Boyle makes the point that the celebration of communion in the way that Jesus did it was a very down to earth act. And yet we have make it fancy. As he puts it, churches are often worried that the communion act will not be treated with sufficient reverence. But Jesus didn't have a chalice in the upper room with the disciples. He had a cup. So our problem is the opposite of the one we've been trying to solve. We have been trying to take the cup out of Jesus' hands and replace it wiht a chalice. And we actually need to put the chalice down and pick up again the cup. Find Jesus in the ordinary. When we do, we discover that, much like the Samurai, at the end of the Last Samurai, that everything is extraordinary.
Picture: Tetiana Pedurets on Unsplash