The following is a post by Brett MacIntyre, a member at Seven Mile Road Church, written as he reflects on Ecclesiastes, communion, and community.
“There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?” – Ecclesiastes 2:24-25.
These verses always felt a little out of place to me. After talking about the fog and harshness of life the Preacher prescribes a meal? Can you picture that? It’s almost like when someone burns the bacon and the smoke fills the whole house. The fire alarms start going off. You’re confused, you can’t see what’s going on in the kitchen. But you do know that dinner is ready. All you can see is the table. A feast in the fog.
We take eating and drinking for granted. I heard once that a shared table is a shared life. Think about your dining room table. What stories could all of the scratches and stains tell? Maybe your family has spent night after night eating dinner talking about how everyone’s day went. It’s held years of botched Thanksgiving turkeys, Monopoly games that went way too long. Maybe it’s held bills that seemed to bring the entire world to a stop. Or maybe it’s a shadow of a life you always wanted but never had, usually carrying more junk mail than conversations. In the fog of life, what stories could that table tell?
Could it tell of a lifetime of sweat and tears just to put some food on it? Think about it. Meals are costly. It’s Thanksgiving today as I write this, and my aunt and my mom were already preparing food late last night. Let alone all the work for the other meals the rest of the year. Sometimes we never get to taste the meal we worked for. Seven Mile Road members just gave out of their own pockets to provide Thanksgiving meals for less fortunate families and filled shoeboxes for children all around the world. We spend most of our days working just for food and drink. Simply sharing a meal means sharing our lives.
Through all the fog and toil of the week, as the Church we all come to the same table. The Communion table. Here, looking down the barrel of yet another week, this is exactly the meal we need. We get to eat and drink and remember. We remember the God who loved us so much that he came into our fog to give us the feast of a shared life. And we remember the cost, Christ shared his life for a meal with me. His body was broken to give me his ear to hear about my days. His blood was poured out to reserve this undeserving cripple a seat with the King. This is the dining room table of a blood-bought adopted family. This is the corner booth where friends become closer than brothers. On this table my cup overflows.
“Let us not splice and dice the world up into secular and sacred, into spiritual and not so spiritual activity. Nothing is more important than how you eat and drink. And there is nothing better than enjoying eating and drinking.” Kevin Chariot