Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent in the Christian calendar that will ultimately culminate in Easter Sunday. As my pastor Mark said during our church’s evening Ash service, it’s a time to solemnly reflect on the story that God created us from dust and to dust we will one day return. It’s a time to remember that before new life can poke through, things have to die. Or in Colorado mountain speak, it’s a time to remember that the most beautiful wildflowers come after the heaviest snows.
It’s also a time to link arms with others on this journey of Lent. I was reading a chapter today from Mark Scandrette’s book Soul Graffiti that spoke of our longings for community. He writes,
The daily life of a household with meals and chores and the cycles of weddings, reunions, and funerals is a rich context for our pilgrimage. We are invited to embrace every person in our relational horizon as having an integral role in our spiritual wayfaring. Whatever can be discovered about life with God in the here and now we will discover together.
So because I love to cook and eat and have recently become mildly obsessed (I prefer to think in a healthy way, but my scale will be the judge of that) with food blogs, sharing meals came to mind. Pretty much all my best life memories with family and friends have happened either on the mountain trail or around food. Breaking bread can be as simple as a granola bar during your morning commute or a gourmet five course dinner during Denver’s Restaurant Week, but it’s something we all have to do every single day. So I decided to share some slices.
For the 40 days of Lent, I will not eat dinner by myself. Instead, I will make space at the table to share the supper meal with a friend, acquaintance, or stranger. Nothing fancy, just breaking bread with others… at my house, theirs, or somewhere in our neighborhoods. New recipes, old recipes, happy hour, potlucks, the corner bar – wherever the path may lead. When I told this to my dad, he responded with, “You mean for Lent you’re increasing your social life??” Thanks, dad. I hope this experiment doesn’t just end up being more things to do. I really love my personal time, particularly culling through cookbooks and whipping up food myself, so that’s what I’m giving up this season… because our most pleasing moments should be shared with others. I’m going to look at the loving relationships around me and not let them go to waste. I’m inviting people into the little life I’ve created here in my tiny apartment and asking them to eat with me… pulling out chairs and spreading cheer together.
Please join me in this wayfaring journey.