Dear friends in Christ,
“Stone soup,” is how I described our Fat Tuesday celebration to friends, referring to the folk story in which a hungry village makes a hearty feast by each person bringing one ingredient from their cupboard. What would otherwise be a rock in a pot of water turns into a feast for one and all. Each person’s willingness to add their part turns their mere-garnish into a sustenance that can be shared.
And share you did. Jams, nuts, eggs, milk, butter, chocolate chips, oil spray, king cake, pancake griddles and fry pans galore, and most importantly, your time and energy to welcome our Muslim neighbors from Dar al-Hijrah. The buzz in the room spoke for itself as our guest arrived, some donning Mardi Gras beads and others carrying trays of food. We spanned generations, cultures, faith and language, but we shared an eagerness to be together
When we gather as a community, we can do much more than we could ever do separately. This same realization hit me when four Trinity members marched together at the Rally for Immigrants and Refugees in January, on the anniversary of the Women’s March. “I wouldn’t have gone if you didn’t,” Jeanne and I said to each other. Turning to David and Joe, they said the same to us. We gave each other courage. This is Christian community—walking the walk, arm in arm.
The Didache is an early Christian text that is thought to be the first table prayer over Holy Communion. It goes, “as grain was scattered across the hills and gathered into one bread, so may your church gather from the ends of the earth into your kingdom.” We are the many pieces of the body of Christ, walking across the earth like grain scattered across the hillside. It is gathered together—like flour into bread, or marchers at a rally; like vegetables in a pot, or toppings on a pancake!—that we bring God’s kingdom into being.
Which is to say, Trinity needs you, and God needs you, for every step and every bit of garnish you have to bring. Broken though you be (as we all are), you are an integral part of the blessed whole. And when we come together, wow! Imagine what we can do to serve our neighborhood, the sustenance and flavor of the kingdom of God in Cedar-Riverside. Imagine how far God calls us to walk, when we walk together.