RACHAEL BUTTON: A Seven Year Plan
In Luke 24, the disciples recognize Jesus when he breaks bread with them. They’d been walking together since the beginning of the chapter but it is the act of blessing food and eating together—that reminder of taking Christ’s body into their bodies—that allows the disciples to understand the change that had been happening in their hearts the whole time.
Last spring I found the summer theme, “Made known in the breaking of the bread,” an odd choice. Why choose verses so attached to food when the Holden kitchen had just been contracted out, changing our rhythm of eating as a community? Several weeks ago, when I returned to the Holden for the first time since June, I changed my mind. After 170 miles on the trail, I visited Holden as a hiker, with a sore back and a body made skinny and shaky from long walking days. The day I entered the Railroad Creek Valley, Villagers gathered at the top of Chalet Hill for a potluck. We laid lawn blankets on the grass and ate black beans and baklava, cucumber, feta, quinoa, orzo, kale, zucchini, cantaloupe, and meat-mash. I heaped my plate and sat cross-legged beside friends, people whom I knew and people whom I didn’t know yet, who had taken time on their Saturday to cook for community. As someone who was working to rebuild her body, I needed that meal, the calories and the nutrients, but also the company, the scenery, and the flavor of foods crafted by people I love. I want the memory of that potluck meal to be part of my body, my cells, my next seven years.
Perhaps Jesus’s disciples would have recognized him sooner if they’d met Christ on the road to Emmaus during a more certain time. But they’d watched empire slaughter their savior. They’d seen a person who symbolized salvation hang on a cross, body broken and deflated by death. It took the table to break them away from sorrow, to bring them back to flesh, hope, and a body that had been changed from dead to alive. At the table, in community, their world began anew, with a meal that would become part of their changing beings.