Title: The Sacred Meal
Author: Nora Gallagher
As a review for Thomas Nelson, we are able to choose our next book to read...and I will be honest that it was the cover art that first caught my eye. Simple and yet with so much meaning, the cup and the bread made me stop...and when I read the cover info on the book, I was hooked as I am ever trying to understand more about Christ and the gifts He provided for us as we try to get closer to Him.
While I would have to say that there are a few areas in which Mrs. Gallagher and I would differ (in regard to spiritual practices and beliefs), I can honestly say that this book is one that was well-written and can be very gripping for any heart that loves God and knows the purpose of Holy Communion. There were areas in the book in which I wrinkled my forehead in question to her thoughts, such as when she said that communion was "devised cleverly by and for human beings, to help us get in touch with the Holy". Communion was established by Christ Himself as a reminder of Him, His love and His sacrifice.
There were many areas, tho, in which I found myself pausing to pray, worship and even cry as I tried to wrap my mind around all that God is and designed this practice to be. Two things she said in this book made me mark them, as they really made me stop and ponder the simple truth found in them.
The first is a quote by Heda Kovaly regarding life after being liberated from the Concentration Camps in Europe:
"Two months after liberation, people had stopped cheering and embracing. They had stopped giving away food and had started selling it on the black market. Those who had compromised their integrity during the Occupation, now began to calculate and plan, to watch and spy on each other, to cover their tracks... It was becoming evident to many that while evil grows all by itself, good can be achieved only through hard struggle and maintained only thru tireless effort."
The second was a line written by the author:
"I remember thinking as I worked in the soup kitchen that I didn't want to know what I was learning. Because then my life couldn't go in the same way... What we learn, we cannot unlearn. What we see, we cannot unsee. (But) Jesus doesn't call us to live in soft cocoon, distracted and undisturbed, allowing others to pay the cost of our comfort."
The sacred meal that is part of our faith does more than connect us to the holy. It connects us to each other.
"I think Jesus wanted his disciples and everyone who came after him to remember what they had together. What they made together. What it meant to be together. How the things he wanted them to do could not be done alone. How the things he did could not have been done without them."
In her inimitable style of memoir and personal reflection, Nora Gallagher explores the beauty and mystery of this most fascinating of topics. Whether exploring the history of Christian Communion, taking us inside the workings of a soup kitchen or sharing times of joy and sadness with friends, the author reminds us what it means to partake of and be part of the body of Christ.
Includes foreword by Phyllis Tickle, general editor of The Ancient Practices Series.
**Thomas Nelson provided me this book for a book review and is allowing me to keep this title once finished. I get nothing else in way of compensation...other than the chance to fill my heart and soul with an excellent read. :) **
Looking up as always...