Have you ever been at a communion service and been served a wafer that has been a bit soft, or even tasted a bit stale? Or got a bit of bread that is a bit crunchy, and it’s not the crust? It is not the most appetising! Now I am not suggesting we should expect quality red wine and home made fresh bread for communion (although I wouldn’t complain!). But this got me thinking about what this could be communicating to those who get to eat the bread or wafers, particularly if they are visitors. Maybe they might think “Is this all I am worth?” or “Is this really how you want me to think about the body of Christ?”
As someone who is a professional Christian – a Chaplain in a Children’s Hospital – I am challenged as to whether I am ever guilty of sharing a stale Jesus? Now there are some stories or illustrations that merit being told time and time again because they genuinely bring an insight but have I also got examples to share about what God has been doing today, or saying to me today. Am I being fed by what God did in my life in decades past or from an encounter with God today?
There is a great line in the first Crocodile Dundee film where he discusses eating what they have scavenged in the outback and says that you can live on it but it tastes like…. We can live eating stale Jesus and so can others and there may be times in our lives when we struggle to connect with God to get that fresh food but that’s different to the times we cannot really be bothered. I was also reminded how the Israelites found that if they tried to keep the manna they collected for more than a day (except for the Sabbath) then it went mouldy and maggots appeared! (Exodus 16).
So the next time you are given a stale bit of bread or wafer think about spiritual food and where and how you can find and share fresh food.