Our theme for 2019 is “The Body.” This is explored in our studies, our podcasts, and weekly in our blog. Today’s blog is titled….
The Body of Rum Raisin Bread
Rev. Ben Brown is the Minister of Students at Second Baptist Church in Richmond, VA. Ben is a native of Virginia and has degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (BTSR). He is married to Courtney, and they enjoy running, hiking, laughing, and being parents to their son, Carter. Ben is obsessed with VCU basketball and dreams of their return run to the Final Four.
Richmond, Virginia is far enough north that it snows, but it’s far enough south that no one handles the snow well. At a hint of snow, Richmonders all flock to the grocery store for necessities.
The local weatherman made the call early in the week, and everyone knew that we would wake up on Sunday morning to streets covered with inches and inches of the beautiful, peaceful white precipitation. It was a guarantee, a sure thing. Churches made their closing plans, and I’m sure sermon preparations stopped prematurely. Our church didn’t cancel, but no one really expected to be in worship. Some sort of meteorological oddity pushed the storm further to the west, and Richmond didn’t see single snowflake.
My family woke up on Sunday, and you could hear the anxiety in my parent’s voices. My father tried to explain it to my mom, but she didn’t understand. “The grocery store this morning was completely out… I couldn’t believe it.” My father was in charge of supplying the common loaf of bread for the communion table, and due to the pending snowstorm there was not a loaf of bread to be found in the Richmond area.
We went to church that morning, and our pastor lifted high the loaf of rum raisin bread we had planned for breakfast. He blessed it and broke it, and swirls of cinnamon sugar fell to the floor.
In the Eucharist and the breaking of bread, Christ was still revealed. Sometimes the body of Christ takes a different form or shape than we’d expect, but is the body of Christ really more like a loaf of sourdough than rum raisin bread?
The morning we all expected was of snowy white tranquility, but the body of Christ surprised us. The other clues on the table helped us decipher the holy surprise of Jesus in the guise of sweet breads. The congregation giggled a bit, and I’m sure the lack of preparation upset a few people. The body of Christ should still be a surprise for us, and it should remind us that every table is an altar. Without word or charge, we were all challenged to be on the lookout for where Jesus might be- who knows, he might be at your breakfast table.