by Kristin Berkey-Abbott
Last week, I thought about the ancient theme of hospitality. We are called to offer hospitality to all; we never know when we'll discover that we've entertained angels, as with the story of Abram, who became Abraham, who invited strangers to dinner and was told of God's plan for his descendents to be more than the stars in the Heavens.
The Emmaus travelers might never have realized that Jesus was with them, if they hadn't given him the chance to break bread.
But what does this look like in modern life?
Jesus calls us to a Eucharistic life, which requires a major readjustment of our mindset around the issues of food, drink, time, and hospitality.
One thing we can do in our individual lives is to adopt a Eucharistic mindset. Never has this been more vital. Most people have ceased cooking for themselves, and many Americans are eating at least one meal a day while they drive.
Rebel against this trait. Look for ways to make meals special. Each week, go to a different bakery and buy yourself some wonderful bread. Open a bottle of wine and savor a glass. Buy your favorite bubbly water, even if it costs more. Cook for yourself, even if it's not something truly special. Invite your friends and loved ones to dinner. Occasionally, invite a stranger.
But it's about more than dinner, more than hospitality, of course. It's the hospitality that allows us to take the time to slow down and dine together. It's hospitality that allows us to truly know each other.
So, before the day gets later, go and buy some bread. Think about the many ways that bread (and other grains) sustain most of us throughout the world. Drink some wine and think about the miracle of fermentation; ponder the reality that in many parts of the world, people drink fermented beverages because the water supply is tainted, but fermentation provides some protection. Invite someone to share your bread with you.
You are the leaven in the loaf, the yeast that turns grape juice into the miracle of wine--how can you make that manifest in the world today?
What miracles might come into our lives when we open them to the ancient practice of hospitality?