Daily Bread July 19

A Piece of Sacredness
Douglas Graves of New York City, NY, USA

Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make you complete in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. -Hebrews 13:20-21

One of the joys of living in the New York City area is the variety of food options available to enjoy. However, we have our favorite spots. Mine happens to be a deli/cafe near my work, so I am familiar with the people who work there.

As I was ordering my food one day, the worker behind the counter began to unroll a tamale from its cornhusk. I jokingly said, “Hey, that wasn’t on the menu! I would have ordered that.” He smiled and said, “Would you like it? I’ve already eaten.” I thanked him, but said my ordered food would be plenty. He broke off some of the tamale, placed it on a piece of aluminum foil, and offered it to me. I gladly took it and began eating the piece of tamale. It was perfect.

It reminded me of the tamales I’ve had all over the country, the friends I’ve shared them with, and the discussions about tamales. I thanked him and told him how delicious it was. Then I took my food and went on my way. As I left, the sacredness of that moment struck me. Here was someone who only knows me in a client/worker relationship, and yet he offered me part of his personal meal.

Jesus and his disciples shared in many meals with many different people. They weren’t always feasts of great splendor. Often they were the simplest meals possible. Yet when they shared with one another, it became much more than a meal. The breaking of the bread has come to symbolize sharing in the Body of Christ. We are asked to “eat in remembrance of the body of your Son.” Yet sometimes, something other than bread reminds us that we are all connected to God.

Prayer Phrase

“Awake, my soul!” (Psalm 57:8)

Spiritual Practice

The Prayer of the Heart

Early Christian disciples desired to take seriously the scripture mandate to pray “without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). The prayer of the heart invites us to pray “continuously” by repeating and returning to a prayer phrase planted for intentional reflection and deepening. Choose a word or phrase (from scripture, hymnody, or personal reflection) that has meaning for you. The Jesus Prayer is one form of the prayer of the heart: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me” (Luke 18:35-43). Invite this simple phrase to repeat in your heart throughout the day, awakening your soul to God’s presence.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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