This is another book reviews that I’ll be posting through Speakeasy; they give out free books in return for bloggers’ honest reviews of these books.
Over winter break, I read Keeping the Feast: Metaphors for the Meal by Milton Brasher-Cunningham. He looks at different meals throughout his life and re-tells them as metaphors for Communion; there are even poems and recipes to enhance the experience. Topics from soup kitchens, restaurant work, funerary meals, and even baseball, are covered as Brasher-Cunningham weaves Keeping the Feast together. He writes each metaphor with the understanding that Communion is the defining ritual of Christians. By interpreting the facets within such a specifically Christian ritual and connecting it to everyday meal experiences, he reminds us that love can be expressed in the most unexpected times, and that the holy is in and around the mundane parts of life.
Brasher-Cunningham reminds us that “the opposite of remember is dismember: to take apart” (122). As followers of Jesus join together to remember Jesus in the Communion meal, we are partaking in an act of will to choose love over dissent, and togetherness over divisiveness; we define our identity around this meal and in this ritual (10). His honest and detailed stories, recipes, and metaphors provide a refreshing avenue to re-visit one of the most ancient rituals for Christians.
Overall, this book provides a set of short, enjoyable, and unique approaches for engaging the meal aspect of the Lord’s Supper, Communion, or Eucharist (whichever you choose to call it). Keeping the Feast is deeply theological, but more importantly, it is deeply human. All persons eat and prepare food; in doing so, we share in experiencing and carrying all that these meals bring along with them as fellow humans. In shared meals, he writes that these times together become ritual, that they become “memory, comfort, love, and even hope” (116). Even more, he writes that “the point of life is to be together… to love all one anothers, and to struggle against everything that leads us away from that love” (117). I was encouraged to read Keeping the Feast and grow my own understanding of Communion and the meal that has been shared throughout history as a way of remembering God’s love among us and promises for tomorrow.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
This is an interesting article (delayed in my posting) from Sojourners regarding the article that came out saying, in summary, that organic food is no better than conventionally grown. I appreciate the post by Sojourners because it is about so much more than vitamins or the label ‘organic’… It’s about a new way of living that seeks to consider (and hopefully better) all life on this shared space we call earth.
Last Sunday, the Food & Faith Sunday School class I’m facilitating talked about the voiceless. We discussed matters of farmworker rights, and animal rights, as these groups are largely without a voice, whether legally or physically. I thought it would be helpful to share a resource I’ve come across that relates to justice for farmworkers.
The NC Council of Churches, along with the NC Office of the National Farm Worker Ministry, started something called The Farmworker Institute. This Institute is supported by a grant from The Duke Endowment, and seeks to improve the working and living conditions of farmworkers in North Carolina.
They work to improve conditions of farmworkers through public awareness, advocacy, service, support for organizing, and resolutions of endorsement. They are currently engaged in a strategic effort to help identify and mobilize faith-based allies in the movement for farmworker justice.
See the link about their initiatives and find resources about how YOU can be involved here. They have fact sheets, NC-specific research data, and ways to start making a difference TODAY!
Too cool… Google maps for 20 of the most popular museums in the country. I could’ve used a better map in plenty of museums!
Interesting article written by Ann McFeatters featured in the WS Journal this morning. Now, if you know anything about me, you know I 1. don’t know much about politics, and 2. don’t really want to know much about politics. That being said, I feel like the issue of how environmental issues should fit into political/economic decision-making is far more complicated than it seems. Why is it that wisely stewarding the environment is seen as irreconcilable with healthy employment levels and more jobs?
The cynic in me feels like in the political realm, the environment is being manipulated and used as a pawn in a human-made game (just as it is in practically every other facet of human life). Our environment and nature is used for recreation, financial gain, or unwanted pieces are just cleared out completely, but it doesn’t have the “right” to just be and be protected (even to some extent)?… I feel like we are doomed to fail if we keep seeing every single thing around us as something that exists solely for our benefit and gain. This article really makes me wonder whyhuman beings seem to view nature as some sort of enemy more often than not; it is acres to be cleared, storms to be avoided, another thing to put up with and manage, as opposed to our home.