Leviticus 2:4: When you bring an offering of a grain offering baked in an oven, it shall be of unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, or unleavened wafers spread with oil.
The Lord’s Supper fulfills the feasts and sacrifices of the Old Testament. Long ago, Israel offered tribute offerings of grain on the altar. Now God shares the final tribute offering, Jesus the Living Bread, with us.
God doesn’t want raw plants on His table. The grain of tribute offerings had to be roasted, or milled into flour and baked into bread or cakes. We don’t eat grapes or raw grain either. Someone had to put time and effort into making this bread. Wine is the product of enormous skill and patience.
Like food itself, cooking gives a clue to what it means to be human. We beautify and adorn what we eat. Food is an art, not merely fuel. As Samuel Johnson said, animals think and feel and reason; but no beast is a cook.
At His table, God gives our bread and wine back to us. This can only mean that the things we make are from God. Even our bread is food that God spreads out before us with his open, infinitely generous hand. Even wine we prepare is His gift, to be received with Eucharist, with thanksgiving.
posted by Peter J. Leithart on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 7:11 am
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