I’ve been trying to be methodical about blogging through the Bible in an orderly linear fashion. However, my mind has been drawn lately toward the Eucharist as the starting point for a theology of food. As I began thinking about this it led to connections and tangents that are forming an interesting web in my brain (hopefully it’s not a cobweb…yuk yuk).
I love the possibility of Eucharist as Eat-In.
Not to belabor the obvious, but sit-ins were a form of protest from the sixties in which people just occupied a space and refused to leave causing business, traffic or whatever to stop in its tracks. Eat-ins are when a “group of people gather in a public space in order to share a meal” (via). These are modern day agape feasts of revolutionary food subversives.
Likewise, we should be willing to gather publicly to partake in a revolutionary meal that symbolizes an upside-down kingdom. Should the reenactment of the death of a dissident in the Roman Empire be done so privately and secluded from the public sphere? Perhaps we should think of taking the Eucharist as a seditious act. We are committing treason when we eat the bread and drink the wine. We are committing and uniting ourselves to an order of things, a kingdom, that is not of this world. It not only transcends nationalism, it obliterates it.
This iteration of communion would certainly incorporate many of the tenets of the slow food movement’s insistence on just eating practices. Paul and James both insisted that when the church gathered for meals and worship (not separate activities) that their gatherings be just.
This way of partaking in Christ’s suffering and death would revive the agape feast that the Corinthian church struggled with practicing in a just way. This way of ritualizing and embodying Jesus’ life, death and resurrection could not take the form of insubstantial elements, though their rich symbolism should be included. No, this version of the Lord’s Supper needs to be a feast, a glorious last meal on death row.
So, what would it look like to practice Eucharist as a form of public protest?