Some time ago a friend brought over a lump of sourdough starter, and yesterday Rexene put three loaves in the oven to proof. They had risen by midday. The girls punched them down, covered them with towels again, and put them back in the oven to rise once more. By late afternoon, they were ready to bake. As you can imagine, the house smelled great -- there's nothing like the smell of bread in the oven, unless it's bread coming out.
It made for a very special home Communion. Rexene set the table for a feast of bread, and the girls sat down beside cups for dipping. We did not eat the flatbread, the bread of haste, served for Passover. No, this was the bread of leisure, and it was a treat.
In every way, it was an unusual Communion for Holy Week. Taking the sacrament in our own homes feels very intimate, privileged, reassuring, special. And yet something is missing.
In one of my favorite recent stories, Faye Kelly didn't have wine or grape juice at home for Communion -- so she went to the fridge and got out some grape jelly to spread on her bread. Pat Ward told her approvingly, "Fruit of the vine!"
What's missing isn't the right kind of bread or wine or juice. It's other people. I look forward to when we can come together again, as a church family, and eat those tasteless wafers that taste so wonderful because we are all together. Truly, that is what Communion means -- finding Christ's presence with each other. That will be a meal to savor.