Just this morning I received a message from home. An old friend posted on Facebook about a near miss on the motorway far from her home. She escaped safe but her car may well be a write-off. Fortunately the collision with a truck happened in a speed restricted area of the route. She mentions the kindness of several who helped, not least someone charged with watching the traffic cameras, who made her a ‘cup of Yorkshire Tea’. For someone who Knows this wonderful part of Northern England, it was a taste of home, a deep connection. In the midst of the trials and tribulations, something solid and real with deep associations.
Our family are just back in New Zealand from Yorkshire, equipped with (not nearly enough) Yorkshire Tea. A reminder of home that goes past just the visual, with which we are obsessed in our culture, but enters in, and speaks to us more deeply. (Any accusation of over egging this will be met with the gentle rebuke ‘Get Real’ 🙂 )
To change tack, or perhaps better, to sail more directly into the Wind, I was recently startled and graced by a request for ‘a taste of home’ Someone was visiting me and asked towards the end of our conversation, ‘Do you have any reserved sacrament to hand? I haven’t had the eucharist for a few days’ (A Davidic request for the bread of the Presence – 1 Samuel 21)
Startled, for such a request is so ‘from another place’, indeed in many respects in the church in the west it is tragically from another time, an anachronism.
Graced for when two are present, Jesus is in the midst.
Stanley Hauerwas is well known for his observation that in our age we are functional atheists. To use this idea, we may well have a fine doctrine of the Eucharist, but we are not physically hungry for it. If we are hungry for Jesus, it is usually at a far less embodied level of our existence, little more than a vapour – we have lost most if not ‘all sensitivity’ to His presence in bread and wine. We might have a theology of The Real Presence, but practically we are on the whole ultra Zwinglians – memorialists of the most naked variety. For us, we only know ‘Jesus’ – we have perhaps forgotten Him in the flesh, the one who is the way Home . . . When we Commune in the Communion we participate in Home
Are we are so home in the world as it is for we have lost a taste for Home, the bread which came down from heaven . . .
Our mundane taste for the things of home, Yorkshire tea, my grandmother’s fly pie, Cumberland Sausage . . . (I could go on 🙂 ) is itself a sacrament, an echo in the creation, distorted though it is, of a deeper taste. The Eucharist is Food sent from Home (As the Father has sent me . . .) In the midst of the trials and tribulations, something solid and real . . .
O TASTE and SEE that the Lord is Good!!