Last week, in the Holy Apostles kitchen, Steve Turtell taught me how to make the bread we use in the Holy Eucharist at our 11 am service. It was a very hot day and I was a plebe in the process, but Steve was patient and kind and my first efforts produced a “good enough” product (still, if you experience the consecrated bread as being a bit dry over the next few weeks please forgive the inevitable learning curve!). The recipe is pretty straightforward, and once an experienced baker shares a few helpful techniques most anyone can create the bread we share in our worship together.
As with many aspects of the regular life in a congregation, there were no courses offered in Communion Bread Baking in seminary. I never expected to learn to do this, but I’m glad I did. It pushed me out of the role I usually have in this community and helped me approach contributing to our common life in an unexpected way. To date I have had one relationship with the bread we share: blessing and distributing it on Sunday mornings. Now that relationship has expanded and deepened with my newly acquired ability. A small thing, but it broadens context. It helps with perspective.
There are so many generous people at Holy Apostles. Our community is sustained by the selfless offerings of lots of individuals doing specific tasks for the common good. We all benefit from the variety of gifts and givers here. So the message in this short meditation is not “do more,” or “give up what you know and dive into what you don’t.” The reminder instead is that it is interesting to encounter something familiar from a new angle. It is edifying to approach what we experience—and often love– from an untrodden path. Doing so opens our eyes a little bit wider, waking us up to everyday Revelation.