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Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”  — Luke 22:19

I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been watching a lot of baking shows or if it’s because we’ve been hearing about family traditions from our council members for Christmas in July, but I’ve got foodand familyon the mind!  I’m sure we each have one of those stories, a story about a special food item or dish that has a special significance to us because of the family tradition from which it came.  For example…

My Grandma Fern (my dad’s mom) would alwaysmake at least three kinds of desserts when my family came to town: Special K Bars for dad, Apple Pie Bars for me, and Nut Goodies for my sister.  The rest of the relatives would joke about how they would only get these tasty treats when my familyrolled into town.  Which made sense for this reason: of all my relatives on that side of the family, my dad was the only one of his siblings to move away from Milan (current population 359, although back in the day it was closer to 700).  We moved about 3.5 hours away when the rest of the family lived within a few blocks of each other.  

All that to say, Grandma Fern would alwaysmake sure to have our favorite treats ready for us.  And even though many of life’s circumstances have changed, she stillmakes sure to have a tasty treat ready for me whenever I go and see her… and then she makes me take the whole pan of bars home since she can’t eat them all by herself (twist my arm, Grandma).  

Food has a way of filling our bellies and also our hearts as we remember how much thought, love, and care goes into preparing and feeding us and our families.  And it’s so beautiful that we are able to share the love and memories with one another as we share our favorite recipes.  

Jesus may not have shared a recipe with his disciples, but he did share a meal — a meal that conveyed the depth of his love for his disciples and all of humanity, a meal we remember every Sunday.  

As we share recipes with one another, let us also remember the bread and the wine, broken and shed for us by the one who loves us more than we could ever hope for or imagine.